What I Learned As a First-Time Organizer of a #StopAsianHate Rally

Signs at a rally in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District on March 13, 2021. (Photo credit: University of Washington / Mimi Gan)

By Guest Contributor: Daisy H. Sim

When the news of Atlanta first hit, I just came home after canvassing for a vigil for Mycheal Johnson, a Black man who was murdered by Tallahassee Police Department (TPD) last year. The anniversary of his death was on March 20th, and I didn’t want his legacy to die. 

In that context, iIt was distressing to hear that six Asian women had been targeted for being perceived as sex workers. It was upsetting to watch as our society dehumanized these victims, while they spoke kindly to the monster who did this: iving excuses like “he had a bad day” and that he’s a “good Christian boy struggling with a sex addiction.” What made this personal for me was that this man was driving down to Florida to commit more of these crimes I can’t help but imagine that in this he meant to kill more Asian women: furthermore, the nearest city with a significant Asian American population in Long’s route south was the very city I was posting up flyers for a vigil. I felt unsafe in a way that I’ve rarely experienced. So I had to do something. Which is why I’ve decided to organize a Stop Asian Hate rally here in Tallahassee, Florida.

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unmasked

Several types of face masks, arranged in a row.

By Guest Contributor:  tsonami

i’m not your scapegoat
never seen nor heard nor given a say
to be spit on and shot when you’re having a bad day
not considered a person of color
and only ever expected to answer

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The Atlanta Shooting: A Boiling Point

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”.

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I Am An Asian American Woman

A woman looks out the window, with her back against a bed.

By Guest Contributor: San-Pei Lee

I am a woman born by a woman and so many women before. I come from a legacy of womanhood, of creation from love, the reason for both women and men on Earth.

But I can’t walk in broad daylight in the streets of Los Angeles without a man peering at me with predatory eyes and remarking that he “likes him some sweet Asian”. I can’t even walk in my own birth country without a man of my own race harassing me on the subway. Was it just an accident in the crowd? But that definitely felt like groping, lingering longer than an accidental touch. No, I can’t stay out alone late at night without the fear of adding to a statistic.

Will women ever stop being blamed for and forced to experience harassment, rape, and prostitution?

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Stop Asian Hate

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.

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