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Happy Lunar New Year

Updated: Mar 4, 2021

To honour lunar new year, let’s talk about equality.

If 2020 taught us anything it’s that we must all stand together in the face of racism, white supremacy and inequality. The black lives matter movement showed tremendous force in 2020 and I, like a lot of people, thought that this momentum would continue through to the new year. The momentum of millions in the fight towards racial equality for all.

After the horrifying murder of George Floyd at the hands of police officers in March of 2020, the BLM movement erupted across the world; with millions taking to the streets to show their solidarity to the movement and honour the memory of those passed due to police brutality. The streets were filled with people of many races and ethnicities, all shouting in one voice for racial equality.

But now 2021 tells of a different story. The Asian community is being attacked and let’s just say that the streets are eerily quiet. Instead of the solidarity of other cultures in the 2020 black lives matter protests, there is indifference. An almost apathy towards the hate crimes directed at Asian Americans and the Asian British population. “It isn’t my fight” “There’s nothing I can do”

Well it is your fight, its all of our fight. As Ashley Renne writes on her instagram page; “A hate crime against one community is a hate crime against ALL communities”

In one week, an 84 year old Thai man was killed after being pushed in San Francisco, A filipino man was slashed across the face in New York City, An elderly Asian man was shoved and thrown to the ground in Oakland’s Chinatown, A Vietnamese grandmother was robbed and assaulted and A Chinese man was robbed and assaulted at gun point in front of his home in Oakland. And that’s just a few reported incidents that happened this week.

Erin Donaghue from CBS reported that “more than 2,100 anti-Asian American hate incidents related to COVID-19 were reported across the country over a three-month time span between March and June, according to advocacy groups that compile the data. The incidents include physical attacks, verbal assaults, workplace discrimination and online harassment.” 2,100 in three months. That’s 700 a month and 23 a day. All to do with Covid-19; all because the virus originated from a place located in East Asia. These 2,100 hate incidents happened because it was decided by some sick and twisted people that anyone that originated from east Asia must have been responsible for the virus. That it was their fault. The fault of Asian Americans who live 7,369 miles away from Wuhan. These hate crimes are also not always obvious.

Charlotte Cho writes


“I rode the subway and noticed that in this crowded elevator people were trying to stay away from me. I saw another Asian in the same car with a mask on. Our eyes locked. We looked at each other knowingly. I wanted to make a point, that we were not carriers of covid because we were Asian, so I sat next to her. I started to question this city that was supposed to be loved for its diversity and for the first time, I truly felt unwelcome in NYC.”

It isn’t just the US. In the UK, the attacks against East and Southeast Asians have increased 300% during the pandemic. I have friends who were scared to ride public transport when Covid first came into the UK. Not just because of the virus but because of the hateful glares and venomous whispers that they know they will experience.

The blame of a virus is being pushed onto an entire minority group because they originated from the continent in which the virus originated from. It’s so stupid.

Stupid enough to cause a demand for action and for change. Stupid enough to have allowed for a higher coverage of these hate crimes on mainstream news platforms. Stupid enough for people to take to the streets and stand with the Asian community.

But stupidity breeds stupidity it seems because the sound that is coming out of mainstream media is close to static silence. Where is the media recognition, the social media campaigns, the marches? Where is it?

And people are trying to justify this silence by saying that some Asian Americans “wouldn’t do the same for us,” and frankly that’s ridiculous. Yes, Racism does exist between minority groups, but to isolate an entire community and allow them to suffer for the actions of only a small number of people is a tale as old as time and a tale that is in desperate need of rewriting.

How are we supposed to end systemic racism if these attitudes are still allowed to linger and grow? Minorities need to stick together, not isolate one another. It makes us vulnerable against white supremacy.


So, I don’t care if you think that it isn’t your fight because you’re not part of the community or because you feel like the fight doesn’t benefit you.


We must all speak out, we must all educate ourselves. We must show the Asian community that we stand with them and support them and are going to help uplift communities that are marginalised.

Listening to your K-POP, Watching anime, using K beauty products, eating East Asian Cuisine or whatever superficial support you think you’re showing to the Asian American and Asian British Community is not enough if you don’t speak out against the violence they are experiencing.


Help give white supremacy the middle finger.


___


References:

@heyashleyrenne

@gemmachan

@dopequeenpheebs

@charlottejcho

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