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We Must Confront Violence Against Asian Americans

Ellen Levitt

Posted on February 27, 2021 02:57

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There has been an alarming rise in crimes perpetrated against Asian-Americans, and it should not be ignored.

Occasionally friends and family will suggest topics for me to write about, but often I pass on them because the editors I work with have specific topics for me to cover, or I know that the websites and publications are looking for articles and essays on certain general subjects. Sometimes my peers suggest story ideas that don't engage me enough that I want to write about them.

But earlier today my friend Patrick, whom I've known since junior year in high school, asked me if I would write about the recent rise in attacks on Asian Americans. I decided that I do want to write about this because it's an alarming trend.

Undoubtedly there has been an increase in violent crimes committed against Asian Americans in recent months. Some of it appears to be linked to anger and frustration over the origins of the Covid-19 illness, in China. Former President Trump fanned the flames of this prejudice with his comments about the "Chinese virus" and "Kung flu." 

And the United States does have a lengthy, sad history of antagonism toward Asians. The Asian Exclusion Act, part of the Immigration Act of 1924, is one of the most infamous manifestations of this. When I was a child, I noticed that some kids would mock Asians more blithely than they did other ethnic and racial groups. It made me cringe, but I also noted that most of the kids who displayed awful attitudes toward Asians also showed prejudice against others. It went hand in hand.

"Hate crime charges in stabbing, teen harassed: New York City anti-Asian incidents highlight rise in hate" (Feb. 26); "NYPD task force provides answers on violent attacks against Asians" (Feb. 19); "Woman Beaten in Anti-Asian Attack On A Train in Manhattan" (Dec. 27); "Chinese Man's Teeth Knocked Out, Suffers Brain Hemorrhage After Random Attack in NYC" (Feb. 23): these stories and many others are horrid, disgusting incidents and not only should we all care about this senseless violence, our city, and our country should be addressing this bias in a more serious manner. It has to be seen as wrong.

Sadly, there are too many Americans who will attack, physically and socially, Asians and other groups as well: recently I wrote about the measured rise in anti-Semitism in the US and elsewhere. US Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene, infamous for her vulgar commentary against Jews and other groups, has been making transphobic comments. Civility seems to have plummeted in recent years, and vicious prejudice accelerated in many circles.

It's particularly disgusting to see attacks on members of the Asian American community when the Lunar New Year was just celebrated recently. To go from joyous to racist horrors in a matter of weeks is unforgivable.

The root causes of the mounting hatred are numerous, and frustrating, but must be confronted. Education and compassion can help us bring down the numbers of crimes. 

Do this for Patrick, and for every other Asian American, every decent American.

Ellen Levitt

Posted on February 27, 2021 02:57

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Source: StyleCaster

If you’ve been following what’s going on in our country right now in terms of anti-asian hate crimes , I have no doubt that,...

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