I feel my breath hitch in my throat as I read yet another news article depicting the gruesome, and at times fatal, events of hate crimes geared towards Asian Americans.
Even the words “stay safe” become ominous as a 150% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes weighs me down. As a member of the Asian American community, I fear for my own safety as I anticipate leaving for college in the fall. Unfortunately, this slew of anti-Asian hate crimes originated purely from the fact that the coronavirus disease originated from China. Due to this dramatic escalation of violence against Asian Americans, we are beginning to realize that our belonging is conditional.
One moment we are Americans, the next we are all foreigners, who “brought” the virus here. Instead of placing blame on others during this pandemic, America should come to realize the importance of interconnectedness as our reliance on one another has never been so obvious.
In the end, ignorance will kill us all unless we enact a change. Don’t downplay the hate towards Asian Americans or assume it’s not occurring around you. You can’t pick and choose to stand up for some and not for others. Whether you sense it in your own family, at school, at work, or on the streets, say something. Stand up for others, it’s as simple as that.
Mold a better society for yourself and for future generations by extinguishing racism and hatred once and for all. Protect your fellow Americans because, in the end, we all bleed red.
Mifflinburg Area High School