The fight against anti-Asian racism


Anda Chu/Bay Area News Group

Protesters fight against attacks against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the Bay Area of California, which is where many of these racist attacks have been taking place over the course of the past year.

Amid the various issues caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, racist attacks against Asian-Americans have been on the rise. Since 2020 and early 2021, attacks against Asian-Americans, particularly women, have increased by 15%, according to a study conducted by Stop AAPI hate in late 2020.

These attacks have mostly taken place in areas containing the highest population of Asian-Americans.

“Most of the attacks in the news have been from here (especially the Bay Area), and it might be because there’s a higher population/percentage of Asian-Americans,” Irene Jacob (12) said. “In my opinion, the main reason why these attacks have continued for so long without any serious acknowledgement is because of the lack of media coverage.”

Most people approach the movements regarding Asian lives while also remembering the summer 2020 protests against racial injustice. The Stop Asian Hate movement has gained a large number of supporters over the course of the past year.

“It’s fighting against those who are against or racist towards Asians and their culture. It honestly has been going on for like forever now, but it’s been ignored … and just recently has been brought up,” Jadyn Hong (12) said. “I don’t know why people only focused so much on African Americans when Asians and Asian Americans were being just as discriminated against.” 

The onset of COVID-19 has been thought to be the main underlying cause for increased attacks against Asian-Americans. As rates of the disease in America have decreased, acts of violence have increased towards Asian groups.

“Although it’s not the only contributing factor, these attacks have greatly increased after the COVID-19 pandemic broke out. Also, there is often reference to COVID-19 in the verbal racial attacks,” Jacob said.

Many also recognize that racism directed to Asians has existed in America for centuries, and, consequently, it has only been exacerbated by the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Racism towards Asians has always existed. COVID-19 only provides an outlet and a reason people can latch on to and blame for racist attacks,” Hong said.

Those fighting for Asian lives hope to see more integration of Asian-Americans into various aspects of American culture. 

“Maybe having more diversity in [political] offices, or just giving more opportunities and equal treatments because we don’t have things like asian history months or anything. The schools should educate the students more about other minorities’ history in the U.S. so that people will be more aware,” Ellie Min (12) said. 

The mounting hate seemed to reach a peak when a gunman opened fire at a spa outlet complex in Atlanta, Georgia. Of the 8 people that were killed in total, 6 were women of Asian origin. In the wake of this attack, many have offered support for the Asian-American community.

“I’m glad that people are starting to come to terms with the discrimination Asian-Americans have gone through, but it’s unfortunate that it took an event this extreme for people to finally realize,” Jacob said.

One of the most common ways to advocate for the protection of Asian lives has been taking to social media. Signing petitions to enact change and donating to Asian help groups makes a difference.

“I think opening their ears and at least trying to listen to what Asians are trying to say will help. In the past, no matter how many times we would try to project our voices, nobody would even bother to listen, so I feel like many Asians gave up a bit. Also, like what they did with George Floyd and other BLM related topics, spreading words that help people be aware of this will be great,” Hong said.

In the end, the fight against Asian hate continues.

“People should listen when Asians are trying to reach out for help because honestly, it takes a lot of courage to do that,” Min said.