Respect for Asian Americans: Is that asking for too much?

BY: CLAIRE KIM

Over the past month or so, hate crimes against Asian Americans in the United States have arisen at an alarming rate. Asian American store owners have been robbed, Asian American elders have been abused, and the Asian American community as a whole has been scathed with a treacherous amount of accusations and disgusting remarks with no real context. I find such events disturbing given the lack of human dignity that is being shown through such actions and decisions. And further, I find such events frustrating given the immense amount of dialogue that occurred this past summer due to the racial reckoning of the BLM movement. It’s almost as if the supposed “progress” we made last year only applied to a select group of individuals, that conversations about racial sensitivity disregarded the several instances of discrimination against Asian Americans. I share no animosity against the Black community or any other minority community that has gained greater respect since the happenings this past summer (that’s truly amazing); however, it does sadden me to see the blatant discrimination that Asian Americans have and are still currently facing.

As an Asian American myself, I am disappointed in the mistreatment of my community. It’s heartbreaking to see my fellow Asian Americans undergo physical, verbal, emotional, and psychological abuse for things that they are not at fault for and put at risk due to the current societal climate. In regards to the coronavirus, for example, the fact that people still think it’s okay for them to name-call the virus the “China virus” even though China and every other Asian country are not responsible for a biological mutation is ridiculous and straight up ignorant.

It’s not even a matter of ignorance at this point. Those who perpetuate Asian American hate crimes are intentional with their words and actions; ignorance is no longer a plausible excuse.

In all honesty, I don’t understand why the rights of Asian Americans are so often overlooked. It’s not like Asian Americans are not people or anything and it’s not like Asian Americans are threatening society in any way shape or form. I just don’t get it. And no matter how much I try to ponder the situation, I end up becoming more vulnerable to anger and frustration.

The thing is, I don’t ask for much. I just want to see a country that will respect all races, understanding that different cultures, languages, and traditions don’t lessen any person’s worth. I just want to see Asian Americans being respected for who they are. Is that asking for too much?

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