The Asian-American community is hurting, even if you don’t see it

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The Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities are being destroyed and people are ignoring it.

When I saw the news of the shooting that happened in Atlanta, I immediately felt a pit in my stomach. I knew that regardless of the motive or details, we would be told that it was not a hate crime. 

Like most other crimes against minorities, the words “hate crime” were not used. We were told that the shooter was “having a bad day.” Even if it was not racially motivated, the fact still stands that six Asian women were murdered in cold blood by a domestic terrorist. 

It doesn’t seem like a coincidence that these women were all of Asian descent, but we will be told that “race had nothing to do with it” like we have all along. The scary part of it all is that it likely was racially motivated. To make it even scarier, it could have been my friends, my family, or even me. 

We are told to be the bigger person, and not to live in fear. How could we not? I don’t go out alone that much anymore. I don’t travel without my white partner anymore. When I walk across the street to get to work from the parking garage, I try to make sure there is someone else on the street that can see me so that if something happens, there is a witness. 

I do not speak of my own life to gain pity. I speak from my experiences because they are real, and they are not only mine but many of my friends’ and family’s experiences too.  

The Asian community has consistently been demonized and dismissed because we are not the most oppressed of the minorities. However, our pain and suffering is still real. I try to keep quiet about my trials, but in doing so I silence myself and those around me who are scared to speak up. The truth is that this shooting was an act of domestic terrorism. 

The Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities are being destroyed and people are ignoring it. Hate crimes against Asian-Americans have gone up astronomically, with the New York Police Department reporting a 1,900% jump in hate crimes against Asians in 2020.

Nationally, anti-Asian hate crimes have risen 149% while overall hate crimes dropped 7%, a study by The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism California State University reported.

The timing doesn’t seem to be a coincidence either. Much of the abuse started taking place after the pandemic started when we were demonized for being Asian. 

We are still suffering from that today, a year later. The thing to remember is this: even if it wasn’t a racially motivated tragedy, we still lost six of our women. Our community is being abused and there is nothing we can do about it. So next time you say, “it wasn’t racially motivated,” try to remember your heart may not ache, but ours do.  

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Elena Hook
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