Racism against any group of people is bad. But I’ve always felt a special hatred for racism against Asians in America and I haven’t been able to put my finger on why until now.
When I was in elementary school, I got bullied a lot. It was so frequent that it became a part of my identity and daily routine and I learned to live with it and adapt. Not saying it was a healthy response, but that’s not the point. The one thing I hated more than being bullied was seeing my bully suddenly turn around and start bullying a new kid. My first thought was, “We’re in a committed abusive relationship. Why do you have to go to someone else?” I didn’t have the guts to stand up for myself, but seeing someone else get picked on made me seethe.
That’s how I feel when I see hate crimes against Asian people. The U.S. has been in a committed abusive relationship with black people for 400 years. And throughout that time it’s turned around to start bullying any new kids in the country. But why? Is bullying us not enough? And there’s always some stupid, nonsensical reason to justify it, but with Asians the excuses have been especially, dumbfoundingly, and irredeemably asinine.
First of all, Americans hated Chinese immigrants in the 1800s because they were willing to work for less and “threatened” the American workplace. But whose fault was that? Then we hated Chinese people and Filipino people because we thought they had diseases.(Like white Americans didn’t. How many Native Americans died from diseases white people brought to America? And remember polio? Started in Vermont then took over the country?) Then we hated Japanese people because of Pearl Harbor and locked them in internment camps. I guess that’s slightly more logical, but still heinous. But then we dropped atomic bombs on their country. TWICE. What the actual frick? Then, we flipped the switch after the war and decided to be nice to Chinese people and let them start immigrating to the U.S. Why? Because we wanted to suck up to Asian allies. We told Chinese immigrants, “You can come into our country–as long as you’re smart, successful, and well-behaved.” And you know what Asian immigrants did? They were smart, successful, and well-behaved and became the “model minority” we came to know and love. And how did we repay them?
By shitting on them.
Asian people have literally done everything that was asked of them in this country. They held up their end of the bargain and America has beaten them down in spite of it. At least America has been consistently abusive with black people. There was never any confusion about what our place was in this country. Asian people have been stepped on then lifted on a pedestal, then stepped on again and tossed around in this cycle every few years.
What incenses me the most is the fact that there’s no excuse for it. Whenever black people get targeted, we always hear: “You should’ve just done what the officer said…you were dressed like a thug…you shouldn’t be looting or rioting…you shouldn’t protest that way…” Asian people have literally done nothing but be Asian. So what’s the excuse? There is none. So we have to come up with stupid explanations like, “He was having a bad day.” You know how many bad days Asian people have had? And yet they don’t go out and kill elderly white women. You know how many bad days black and Hispanic people have had? And yet we don’t go around shooting up schools.
This is why I can’t stand when people try to tell black people how to react to racism–because Asian people show that you CAN LITERALLY DO NOTHING AND BE KILLED. So don’t come to any minority with nonsense about how we should comply or bring up past criminal history etc.
And let’s talk about attacking Asian people because of Coronavirus. A virus starts in a country thousands of miles away so you attack Americans whose parents are from that country. By that logic, every immigrant in America should attack white people for the political unrest in their home country. Haitians should be attacking white Americans because America refuses to get rid of the corrupt president THEY put in power. But we don’t. Because we’re not maniacs.
The violence against Asian people in this country shows more than anything just how wicked America can be. We beat them down, then lift them up, only to beat them down again. And all the while, they haven’t declared war, they haven’t bombed buildings, shot up schools, or stormed the Capitol. Americans are killing a group of people that haven’t been killing them back. That’s not only wicked, it’s cowardice.
So to my AAPI friends, I’m angry with you. I’m crying with you. I’m standing with you. But most of all, I’m praying with you. Because Asian lives matter too.