Soon Chung Park, 74; Suncha Kim, 69; Yong Ae Yue, 63; Paul Andre Michels, 54; Hyung Jung Grant, 51; Xiaojie Tan, 49; Daoyou Feng, 33; Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33.
These are the names of the eight victims who lost their lives in Atlanta to a gunman who aimed to solve his sex addiction with murder. I think singer Eric Nam said it best in his op-ed for Time Magazine:
“Why are women of our community the outlet for and victims of your sexual addiction? How dare you.
Everything about this is tragic and wrong. But this is the way it’s been and continues to be.”
Though anyone could simply look up the names on their own, I added them here as well because they are names of real humans with lives and loved ones.We need to help turn these current events into real issues and not just articles.
It’s interesting to me that we have had to justify what’s been happening lately, and that we had to prove that these current events have been indeed race-related hate crimes, and not mere coincidences.
And whether or not we can prove the motivation behind the shooting and other incidents, we can surely identify the need to address the great amount of fear and pain in the Asian American community.
I was originally worried about speaking up about my personal opinion due, and I didn’t want to stir up trouble or anything of the sort, until I read this tweet from Min Jin Lee, the author of the book “Pachinko:”
“I will never be ashamed of being hated for my race. This shame belongs to the racist. It is not my shame.”
The shooting in Atlanta is just one of a million examples. The murder in Toronto, the Buddhist temple set on fire in Los Angeles, the beatings in New York City, the harassment in San Francisco, and the attacks there as well, are just a few more.
But the murders in Atlanta are what it took to finally raise more heads, gain some curiosity and make a few headlines.
Asian influence is everywhere in our cultures, and people love to take part in it – “Gangnam Style,” sushi, matcha, fox eye makeup, boba – right up until we ask others to understand that it’s never always this pretty.
The perception of East Asians in relation to whiteness downplay efforts of Asian Americans, and allows excuses for racism. Many people don’t realize how derogatory phrases and nuances have become so normal and overlooked.
Last week, we had discussed visual stereotypes in my visual communication class, where I shared this tweet. I said that this tweet was calling out the news and media for using photos of Asian Americans in their stories, perpetuating false accusations of “the Chinese virus.”
I then continued and wrote, “Since racism against Asians have become so normalized, attributing the spread of Covid to innocent Asian Americans has led to increased hate crimes and attacks.
Continually putting Asians as the face of the coronavirus places blame on people that had no relation to the pandemic, instead of focusing on why the spread has been so high and dangerous in America in the first place.”
This was written on March 16. Then the news about the shooting in Atlan
ta came out on March 17. A few days later, I realized that I had signed up to submit my edit desk the next week.
Whether or not this past week and a half was full of coincidence, I’m taking this as my opportunity to share just a fraction of my thoughts to add to the conversations taking place.
For minorities who feel unsafe, I hope we do not grow tired and weary from speaking out and standing up, and praying for our loved ones every time they step out of the house.
For everyone else, I hope you understand what a privilege it is to not have to face daily racially based nuances, while having these worries and issues bearing on your hearts.