East Asians are being attacked and everyone is silent.
There’s nothing new about racism towards Asians in North America but we have reached a point where it is being normalized and very few are speaking up about it. It is because of figures like Donald Trump who have obsessively been imposing China to be the cause and result of our own incapability to keep citizens in their lane by staying home, wearing masks, and being cautious for their own good, and if not for themselves then at least for the good of others. The fact of the matter is, it is no longer important where the virus originated at this point because North America has made it worse than it ever needed to be in the first place. There is no one to blame but our governments and those who chose to fulfill their own self-interest than to care for the well-being of their neighbors. As a result of all of this, East Asians are facing the brunt of it for something that is none of their responsibility.
Recent attacks on older members of the East Asian community emphasizes the gravity of racism against Asians. It is a well-known custom in East Asian culture that the elderly are held to a higher level of respect than others and yet they are the ones being disrespected, abused, and killed. Is this a reflection of the American and Canadian culture? Do we carry no such custom?
We have all been made to believe that our phenotypic traits give power to some and take power from others but this is the mindset that will destroy humanity. Now, in 2021 people are still holding prejudice against another race based on nothing but an unjustified belief. Has Black Lives Matter taught us nothing? We rile a rave for equality, to lift one up in the name of justice only to push down another end. Do we need a movement for each minority group to see equality in this society? And yes, it is possible for anyone of any race to be racist despite the oppression one has faced. Minorities committing acts of hate crimes against minorities will never encourage unity. If there is a way to demolish the idea of white supremacy, it is to act as one and not leave others behind. This conversation surrounding race has become increasingly difficult over time; embedded in jokes, seen as comedy or sarcasm, we have normalized racism in so many ways. We do not need to divide ourselves based on our colors and ethnicities because of a subconscious prejudice; there is no such thing as a supreme race in this global community we call humanity.
In the past year, anti-Asian hate crimes have increased nearly 900% in Vancouver, and nearly 2000% in New York. Hate crimes against people of color are taking place all throughout Canada and America every single day. Within the past week numerous elderlies have been assaulted: spat on, slashed by knives, set on fire, thrown on the street and murdered. Not only by fellow civilians, but also dying at the hands of the police who are sworn to protect and serve and yet choose to suspect then neglect the reality of a situation as if they were the ones facing gun-point and scared for their lives; they are always left unchecked.
This isn’t about isolated incidents; this isn’t about just one race of people having to face hardships placed among them as a result of the many things that have transpired over the past years. This is about working to quickly and permanently end this war between us and our own neighbors. This is about Asians, African-Americans, Indigenous peoples, Uyghurs, anyone and everyone who has been marginalized solely on the basis that their suppressors think they are more worthy of life, of health, and of happiness. This imbalance of power was not created by any law of nature; it was taken, not given. Let’s not normalize racism to anyone. How one chooses to act in the presence of another can determine the course of the rest of their life. If we choose to be hateful, we will only ever know this never-ending cycle of fighting for justice that shouldn’t even have to be earned but seen as the default.