It’s been an excruciating year for everyone. From the pandemic to the societal problems that have been plaguing our country, it is more important than ever before for us to stand up for what is right. As Asian Americans, our issues with racism have always been swept under the rug. We’re constantly being portrayed and described as docile and submissive, or exotic, seemingly positive qualities. It’s rare for media outlets to portray incidents of racism toward Asians, as it’s rare for us to report and speak out on these incidents. However, the situation has only gotten worse; it’s been exacerbated by racist politicians and the COVID-19 pandemic.
Asian American hate crimes have increased by 150% domestically in 2020, while overall hate crime rate decreased. It’s easy to feel helpless, hopeless, and scared. But if we don’t stand up for ourselves, and push for change, no one will. This is not the America we dreamed about. Millions of people have flocked to America for hundreds of years, seeking a better life, full of freedom and hope, and most importantly, basic security and safety. Yet, we know that racism and bigotry is deeply embedded in our country.
So what can we, individually, do to help? First and foremost, we need to educate ourselves and those around us. Understand why this is happening, and incorporate all types of different perspectives. Next, we need to stand up and take action. Volunteer, report crimes, and donate to organizations. Support those around that have been affected. Bring racism into conversations. Share resources and news on social media. Attend rallies and protests. The stakes are too high for us to stay quiet and keep our head down.
At the West Valley rally in Saratoga yesterday, on March 27th, 2021, hundreds of Asian Americans and allies came together to call for an end to Asian American violence. Mayors of local Bay Area cities attended, giving speeches and advocating for change. only one of many across the nation. In times of fear and grief, nothing is more important than working together and supporting each other. All across the country, people are coming together to protest and use their voice to end hatred and instill love instead.
We need to capitalize on this momentum. In today’s climate, it seems that people try to fight for what’s right, but a couple weeks later, it’s forgotten as new tragedies arise and other issues get in the way. Even as the momentum slows down, please remember that your minority brothers and sisters still are affected by racism every single day. We will be unable to change our country if we forget to support each other and don’t sustain the call for change.