As a father to an Asian son and husband to an Asian wife, this topic hit home as hard as it could. America has seen a lot of changes over the years, more so in the past ten than over the span of the last decade. We’re polarizing ourselves into a divide. That said, segregation is no new topic for us in the Red White and Blue. The Civil Rights movement was about far more than just the rights of Black Americans, it was about the fight for equality and inalienable rights each of us ought to be born with.
The real question on my mind, however, is: Why? There are many factors to look at, the most obvious being the Coronavirus Pandemic and its association with its origins in China. That said, this is likely just an outlet for pent up disdain. After all, if it were merely about blaming the “culprit country” one would have to ask if Australians would endure the same treatment had the virus started in Sydney.
The obvious answer is: NO.
According to the AAPI, Asian hate crimes hit an all-time low between 2015 and 2016, then strangely took a sharp rise and have not slowed since… I wonder who or what came into the public mindset with sharp anti-Asian rhetoric around that time. 2016-2020 will definitely go down as years to study for future generations, as I’m sure there will certainly be loads of data to scan through.
Deep within, however, the root of this is likely embedded in all of us, to some degree, that is. It’s embedded in Asians as much as it is non-Asians. We tend to believe that hatred, bigotry, and even simple biases are left only to those who live in the sticks and talk with twangy dialects but the truth is much more problematic, in fact much more systemic. We fear what we don’t know, and we chastise, belittle, berate, and attack what we fear. Asians may not be known for their intimidating sizes or aggressive culture but they are often associated with knacks for numbers, higher-education, and in some geo-political cases, surpassing economies. This is a scary thing to a people who pride themselves on “being the best” at everything known to man, ever created, laid eyes upon, or touched. Americans fear being #2, especially to those stereotyped as being smaller and physically inferior, so it’s no doubt that when the orange-haired snake-oil salesman came loudly, ahem, trumping up fears about Asian dominance, subsequent hate crimes followed. And it needs to be said, many of these crimes are committed by those other than “White males”. Racism is not relegated to the pasty toned.
A good way to stop the increase of Asian Hate is to indeed have a good look within and find out what ticks you the wrong way about your own biases and ask yourself: am I really mad at my own shortcomings?
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