A durian fruit, plated.
By Guest Contributor: Nam Le
“Be safe if you go outside, Ma. People in this country at this time do not like Asians. They do not care that you’re not Chinese. So just be careful.”
The text is half in English, half in Vietnamese. None of it is exactly what I want to say.
I skip over the word racism when I text Ma. It is a wrong turn into an armed minefield, a back alley of snakes and wet live wires. My cousins, better able to navigate this ground, tells me that the closest road might be through kỳ thị. Discrimination.
When I ask for directions again on Google, seeking a second opinion, it offers up phân biệt chủng tộc – a four syllable tour that passes by “separation based on race”.
But that, too, is far short of what my tongue wants to express on this Tuesday night — a truth I have always hoped my parents would never have to know: that on this side of the ocean, thunder still rolls.
Continue reading “Tuesday.”
People hold placards during a "Stop Asian Hate" rally, following the deadly shootings, in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., March 20, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton
By Guest Contributor: Wendie Yeung
Content Warnings: this article contains the author’s personal experiences facing racially charged violence.
While most of America reminisced about March as the one year anniversary since normalcy, I, like so many other Asian Americans, had been grappling with the pandemic months before that. When I heard the beginning media buzz of a mysterious new coronavirus found in Wuhan in early January of 2020, my heart sank. I knew that from that point on, my racial identity was going to become a stark liability. At the time, I was flying for work every week, and I became hyper aware on my flights and in the airport. If people looked at me, I’d wonder why (“do they think I’m from China?“), trying to read any suspicion behind their eyes. I’d smile at strangers to appear more friendly; if I was on the phone, I’d talk a little more loudly so those around me could hear that I spoke perfect English. These acts were things I did almost instinctively – protective acts so people knew that I was not a threat, that I was “American”.
Continue reading “The Atlanta Shooting: A Boiling Point”
Banner with the caption "This is Our Home Too." Artwork by Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya.
By Guest Contributor: Jimin Shim
You love our food, our movies, our anime and TV shows, our music, our engineering, our nail salons. Korea, Japan and China are some of the most popular travel destinations in the world. When will you love us? When will you see us as real human beings with full lives, families, passions, emotions, and all the things that make us human? A police captain described March 16 as “a very bad day” for this domestic terrorist. Are you kidding me? Do we really mean so little to you that having “a bad day” can justify murdering us? Do not let another domestic terrorist off the hook. Do not let his whiteness and the victims’ non-whiteness blind you from seeing the reality of this disgusting, racially-motivated hate crime.
Reach out to your Asian friends, family members, and colleagues. And then be understanding if they don’t respond right away, or at all. It can quickly become overwhelming to repeatedly tell others how you’re doing, especially when you yourself aren’t quite sure the full spectrum of emotions you’re feeling and the extent to which you’re feeling them. For me, it’s been a mix of hurt, sadness, anger, frustration, confusion, fear, worry, shock, and a heavy chest.
Continue reading “Stop Asian Hate”