Let’s set this straight: #StopAsianHate!
By Pen De leon Manahan
It seems like humanity is in for a long purge with almost no end in sight. As many different parts of the world continue to struggle against the Covid-19 pandemic and all its adverse ripple effects, another pandemic – clearly a more spiteful one – seems to be on the rise, an issue that is close to the heart of Asian Americans, not almost 20 million strong.
It was not too long ago that outrage from the death of George Floyd finally spurred the Black Lives Matter movement which really raised a phenomenal understanding and awareness of the abuse that the black minority have and continue to endure.
It is saddening that violence had to yet again, give rise to protests in defense of another minority. Kicking-off in March 16, 2021, “Stop Asian Hate” has been the platform upon which several anti-Asian-violence rallies have been held across America, most notably in the wake of a series of shootings in Georgia that killed a total of eight individuals, where six were Asian women.
In another daunting event, the New York Police Department also arrested and charged a 27-year-old man named Joseph Russo, following his spine-tingling abuse of a 64-year-old woman that had resulted in serious injuries. While the act of violence was unimaginable and inexcusable, what was equally chilling was how, in the video, the bystanders witnessing the crime seemed to just look on and did nothing to hinder the unprovoked assault.
In a recent research released by an Asian and Pacific Islander Organization, in the past year alone, the number of anti-Asian hate incidents which range from slurs, shuns and physical attacks is beyond the 3,800 reported incidents, over the course of roughly a year during the pandemic. Most of the victims were also the women at around 70%. Still, many groups are trying to determine the number of unreported incidents as various members of the Asian American community are only gaining their voice now, admitting that many times in the past, they chose to just ignore various forms of harassment, especially verbal attacks.
As an Asian American community leader, I now use my voice, my resources and my various platforms to be one in this urgent cause. I do not only speak as a member of the growing Asian American community, but simply as a human being; as a mother, a wife, a daughter, sister and a friend, who genuinely fears for the safety and the dignity of all my loved ones. I vow to be one with this cause, which needs to be addressed right here and right now, starting with my own family and enterprises, by furthering information and assisting in the dissemination of avenues for empowerment and protection.
Like any form of violence, if one simply takes it, endures it or looks the other way, it will continue to persist and grow more of its monstrous heads. This pandemic of Hate, which for me, personally, is far viler because it is not perpetuated by a virus, but of sentient human beings devoid of common sense, courtesy and compassion must end.