Anti-Asian violence has once again convinced people worldwide to stand against it, following the Atlanta area spa shootings in the US. People are taking streets with slogans ‘Rise up against hate’ and ‘Protect Asian lives’. Recently, a 65 years old Asian woman was kicked and stomped in broad daylight in New York city and no one did anything. Footage released by NYPD shows the brutal attack and one of the workers closed the door while struggling woman asked for help. This isn’t the first time in United States but the racial discrimination has long history in the country right after World War II, when Asian Americans immigrated and were victim of color discrimination. They were called ‘yellow peril’ that defined as unclean and unfit for citizenship in America, according to the information.
54 years old Satish is an Indian-American living in Chicago from a very long time. He runs his own shop for living. Satish told Eat News, ”It feels like my own country now. I shifted here long time back with my family. After reading such news, it disheartens me and makes me wonder why there is so much hate for Asians?”. He recalled one such incident and said, ”2 years back, my relatives from India came to visit us here. We were sitting in a restaurant when one boy who was about 23 or 24 years old came to my uncle and told him to go back to his country and that he doesn’t have an accent. This whole incident embarrassed me and made me angry.” Satish said, for the first time that incident made me to actually question myself, ”Is it the safe and right place to raise children?”
Just like Satish, the US holds quite good number of Asian American population. According to the available data of 2016 census, it is estimated that there are nearly 21 million Asian Americans. Majorly Chinese Americans, Filipino Americans, Indian Americans, Vietnamese Americans, Korean Americans and Japanese Americans.
Every year more than thousands of Asians visit different countries for numerous reasons. 26 years old Shivani Singh is doing her Post graduation from Australia and believes its quite tough to live on her own. She said, ”After reading the recent news of shootings, me and some friends organized a session to spread awareness about the Anti-Asian hate crimes.” Sakshi while talking to Eat News described an encounter with a girl and said, ”I was running for my grocery shopping. There was this girl, we are in the same college but not in same class. She came to me and said, ”you are stinking like curry’ and that is when I realized its her way to make me feel that I am an outsider. I want to say that nobody should make you question about your roots and where you come from.”
On asking, people who live in different countries finds their community to live along to feel more comfortable to which she responded, ”Yes, its true. It’s been a year here but still when I see an Indian face or hear Indian language, it comforts me. If we are not accepted, it is what we are left with to complete or achieve our goal, for what we are here. I love exploring places, languages, food, to socialize but then when I read such news, I get convinced to stick to our community so that I can live happily here.”
But what could be the mindset behind the hatred and for Asians being tormented? Satish told us, ”I was told by an American customer, it is possibly because of the rise in Asian population around the countries. We are doing good in every sector, be it business, politics, sports, entertainment, food. We are hardworking and so making our mark globally.” According to Satish, it is bothering others and are trying to build such unsafe environment for Asians to live. He added, ”Also they are not familiar with our culture, which makes them to treat us like nobody. I feel like if we stand unite, hate crimes and hatred will turn into love.”
Social media has emerged as a powerful platform where people can be vocal about lot of issues and can be heard from anywhere. And the racial discrimination is one such issue nowadays, people are volunteering to spread awareness about. Activists, people from Asian communities are pouring their heart out on social media about racism and their personal experiences. BTS, the popular South Korean band tweeted, “What is happening right now cannot be disassociated from our identity as Asians,”. Charles Melton, Riverdale’s star in an interview given to Variety, an American media company said, ”I failed to defend my heritage in fear of retribution.” Priyanka Chopra Jonas, has always been vocal about racism and is quite active around this issue. She shared her personal experience in her book ”Unfinished”.
But social media campaigns and tweeting about these issues is all we need? Minorities in every country face difficulty and are often bullied by the dominating community, but this shouldn’t stop people to live freely. People should learn to respect other culture and customs.
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