The Vigils and Protests Held for the Asian Hate Crimes Across the Nation


By Juliana Lee

In the recent events, sickening and terrifying Asian hate crimes have made headlines in America. Elders were attacked such as the incident in San Francisco, Oakland, or the devestating shooting in Atlanta.

Asian hate crimes are nothing new such as the Japanese internment camps or the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 or the murder of Vincent Chin; there are a myriad of instances in which Asians were targeted in the history of America. This past year, according to the AAPI organization. there were about 3,800 asian hate crimes that were reported.

In light of the tragic events, protests and vigils have been held in New York, Atlanta, Washington DC, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and New Jersey. Asian Americans rallied together to find hope in unity and to raise awareness about Asian discrimination which rarely gets media coverage.¬†Protesters on their signs would write things such as “You love our culture. Speak up”, which highlight how many profit off of Asian culture yet fail to acknowledge stereotypes or racism towards Asians. Others wrote “My race is not a virus. Racism is.” and “Hate is a virus”. Some signs also addressed the “model minority myth“: a seemingly harmless stereotype that actually perpetuates dangerous stereotypes.

People also gathered to honor the lives and show solidarity to the families who have lost their innocent elders, a common target for Asian hate crimes such as in Boston, Sacramento, Utah, and Philadelphia.

“We are in the middle of a pandemic, a time that leaves everyone vulnerable. But instead of working together to find some sense of safety and security, some commit hate crimes and play the blame game. We need to put aside differences during this pandemic and moving foward,” said Joy Lee, a Korean American Junior at Hills.

As a Korean American myself, I am deeply disturbed when I read about these news stories. My own parents came here and established businesses to support our family and have constantly faced racism. To hear about these news stories, the violence towards Asians, and the possibility about how my parents could potentially be the next headlines is absolutely terrifying.

For anyone reading this article, it is imperative that you dismantle any racism you hear from others as well as the stereotypes that you hold for Muslims, Hispanics, Asians, Blacks, and etc. Racism is hard to tackle yet alone worldwide, but fighting it within ourselves first is a step we can all take.