• Melissa Tan

Why We Need to Unite with the Asian American Community Right Now

If you’re like me, you’ve probably have been seeing many social media posts about the recent attacks on Asian Americans, especially the elderly community. If you haven’t, here is a short recap of the events triggering the anger within the Asian American community as of late.

On January 28, 2021 video footage of 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee was shoved onto the pavement ground while taking a morning walk in San Francisco, where he later passed due to his traumatic injuries. This however was just the start of the many attacks focusing on Asian American elders. A Vietnamese grandmother was robbed from her store just before the celebration of Lunar New Year, and a 61-year-old Filipino man was slashed in the face with a box cutter on a New York subway. Recently, a young woman’s mother was shoved and attacked in Queens, NY, receiving stitches on her forehead after receiving slurs.

Although many of the attacks have been surfacing recently, hate crime has been around for many years, only becoming heightened due to the global pandemic. Many have been said to believe that the attacks made recently are simply ever since former President Donald Trump referred to the pandemic as the “Kung Flu” at a Tulsa Rally in 2020. Others are said to believe that many of these attacks are predominantly focused on elderly Asian Americans simply because they are unable to defend themselves.

Hate crimes against Asian Americans as a whole is not something new. However, due to the targeted age group of those who have been assaulted, many of the younger generation have found it in themselves the need to speak up and bring this platform to attention.

As a result of many of the incidents surfacing on social media, many have taken to their platforms to help those who have been targeted by providing GoFundMe accounts or simply sharing and retweeting posts on all social media apps to increase views and advocate for the community. Others are taking action and providing assistance to elders who need it, such as A3PCON, CAA, and the Asian American Studies Department at San Francisco State University who created a platform for those to report hate crimes in their areas. To those who do witness these attacks and wish to report, please visit www.stopaapihate.org to help curb our Asian American community from xenophobic attacks and break the cycle of violence.

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