the hate debate
As some students notice an increase in racism towards Asian-Americans amidst the pandemic, the community begins to take part in movements to advocate for the end of Asian-American hate
reporting by aileen huang and madelyn palm
Have you noticed an increase in racism towards the Asian community since the start of the pandemic?
Sabrina ault, 12
“Absolutely. Other than media coverage and everything, there’s just a lot of hostility since COVID-19 started. There’d be people glaring at people just because they’re Asian, and that’s just at the very best. Then there’s of course been a lot of hate crimes and extreme violence, and it all just boils down to the hatred and prejudice.”
Julia Daigler, 10
“I actually have noticed a bit of an increase of hate towards the Asian community with what I’ve seen on the news and on social media.”
Sirilatmanee Fisher, 9
“Definitely. When I go out with my mom in public she gets a lot of dirty looks. There’s been a lot more recently, or just in the past year. It’s never really happened before the pandemic.”
olivia mclellan, 12
“Unfortunately I have noticed more racism. I feel that the attitude towards Asians has always been prevalent but within the past year it’s been more noticeable. Previously it was more overlooked and as a nation we kind of just kept quiet about the ongoing racism.”
have you experienced racism first hand?
Middle school students gather to speak about their views on Asian hate at the Centerway Square stage during the
vigil on March 30.
“I don’t think I’ve ever experienced it personally other than just hearing people say offensive things like chink.”
“I haven’t exactly experienced any hate crimes or anything like that, but there has been a lot of racial profiling when I’m out with my parents, and people always assume things about me just because I’m Asian.”
“It doesn’t really happen to me as much other than the occasional dirty look, just because I don’t think I look as Asian as my mom or someone who’s fully Asian.”
Do you think the movement has done a good job at shining a light on oppression towards Asian-Americans?
“I have experienced it first hand, and sadly a lot more than I’d like to say. The hardest issue for me personally is that I’m adopted by a white family so I deal with both sides of it. I have other Asians telling me I’m ‘too white’ and also normal stereotyping and racism that any other Asians face.”
“I think the movement is a beneficial idea for the Asian community, but there is still a lot more that needs to be done and many more changes that need to be made. From my perspective, it seems that we’re trying to fight fire with fire because as a whole, we refuse to believe we’ve failed. We’ve failed to educate, and if we want things to change, we need to start teaching younger generations that racism isn’t okay no matter the history. I think when people learn to talk to each other rather than talk at each other, there will be a beginning of acceptance and understanding.”
“I think it has done a good job, but it could definitely be better because there’s still a lot we need to do. I think it could be improved if we learned about it in schools, or if people just tried to put themselves in other people's shoes and try to have some empathy.”
“Yes I think so. What’s really interesting is that the media doesn’t really cover everything; they pick and choose what to show. But with social media, it’s kind of like all the reality and facts are thrown in your face which really helps to show what’s really happening.”
“I think it’s done a pretty good job but I feel like there’s some other stuff they could have done to represent the Asian community better, considering all the stuff that’s been happening recently.”
Do you feel as if the Asian community has been overlooked or misrepresented?
“Yes, especially throughout the 80’s and 90’s, there’s a lot of movies that depict Asian women, especially Chinese women, in an inherently racist way. I think that has just carried on throughout the years.”
“I feel like for the most part the Asian community has been represented pretty well but I feel like others have been afraid to speak out because of what’s happening.”
“I definitely think it’s been overlooked, no one has really paid much attention to it, especially before COVID-19, but even now when there’s violence happening.”
How do you think growing up without Asian representation in the media and in your life has affected you?
“Even though my mom is authentically Taiwanese, there have been times where I feel like I’ve been kind of whitewashed. I think that’s because there's not a lot out there that I can relate to in America.”
“I feel like it’s a lot better now than it was when I was younger because since Black Lives Matter and stuff, people have been more willing to speak out about issues.”
In the Denison Park gazebo on March 31, memorials with signs and candles have been created in honor of Asian-American
lives recently lost.
in the spotlight
At the Stop Asian Hate vigil at centerway, supporters of the movement gather to commemorate the lives lost to hatred and racism.
advocate against hate
“I think it's definitely had a really big impact on me because I’ve always grown up thinking ‘I wish I was blonde,’ or ‘I wish I could do this with my life.’ But I never really had as much of an Asian impact on my life as I have with Caucasians.”
“Like I said before, since I was adopted into a white family, the lack of Asian representation in my life never really occurred to me. I never really looked for it since I was surrounded by white people my whole life.”