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Tuesday January 18th 2022

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Stop the Violence against Asian Americans

By NINA, an 8th Grader at Jefferson Community School

Art by Nina

An article from 1907 says, “We must exclude the Chinese, Hindu and Koreans, and even the Japanese, if necessary.” Blatant racism is shown in connection to a disease and now we”™re seeing history repeat itself. Currently, Asian Americans are still being attacked and blamed for the virus, which is why the government should be working harder to find solutions to stop hate crimes against Asian Americans. Government officials hold the responsibility to stop violence against Asian Americans and it will bring security to the Asian community in addition to reducing the normalization of racism against them.

The first reason the government should find solutions to stop all this violence is that it will bring peace of mind and security to Asian Americans across the country. With all the violence, Asian American university students are dreading going out. For example, in The Diamondback, Dominic Escobal states “It feels like I have to look over my shoulder sometimes.” Similarly Judy Lee from the San Francisco Chronicle says she was out grocery shopping when she was met with two racist remarks. While nothing got physical, she was worried for her older parents and other Asian elders, saying ““I worry for them, I don”™t want them to get attacked ever or be in the same situation.” The last example comes from PBS NewsHour; in March of 2020, a Burmese American family was attacked in a Sam’s Club with the attacker spouting racist ideas about Chinese Americans. These are only some examples of what Asian Americans face every day. Congress should write new legislation that protects Asian Americans against hate crimes so they can feel somewhat secure.

Secondly, the government should be searching for solutions to end violent crimes against the Asian American community because it will reduce the normalization of racism against Asian Americans. There is undoubtedly a long history of government officials using the Asian community as a scapegoat while perpetuating racist ideas. In the early 1900s, U.S. officials made Japanese immigrants endure extra medical exams because the government believed they carried the bubonic plague. Furthermore, Asians often fall into two stereotypes, the model minority myth and the perpetual foreigner myth. The model minority myth suggests Asians are more successful overall and do better in our society. The model minority myth is harmful because it causes people to justify racism against Asians because “they have it good”. Likewise, the perpetual foreigner paints Asians as two timing citizens and that they”™ll never be American enough. In the end, both myths are used to delegitimize racism against Asians while disregarding the history of anti-Asian sentiment. It’s up to influential people like authority figures to spread awareness and condemn the normalized racism against Asian Americans.

Lastly, I”™m asking all government officials and authority figures to put a stop to the violence against Asian Americans and punish those who’ve committed such hateful acts because it’s their responsibility to keep all citizens safe. When you”™re someone who is super influential, your choice of words matter. The way our former president phrased COVID-19, calling it “Chinese virus” and “Kung Flu” just puts false blame on Asians and spreads xenophobia. Despite our former president saying these horrible things, two representatives from California are talking about and acknowledging all the aggression against Asian Americans. Representative Ro Khanna says it’s important to acknowledge the situation and talk about it while the other representative, Mark Takano, is hopeful Biden and his administration will make it known that diversity is important and we should come together. This is what we all should expect from influential figures in our society and if they don’t meet that standard, we need to hold them accountable.

While the pandemic continues, our current president Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have both condemned the violence against Asian Americans. Being a good example for the public is one step to fixing the problem. Ultimately, there are many reasons for the federal government and authority figures to put in more effort to find solutions to end hate crimes against Asian Americans, as well as finding people who committed those acts and giving them a fair punishment.

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