Anti-Asian Hate is Surging, but it’s Far From New — My Experience Growing up Asian American

April 2, 2021

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I still remember a conversation with my father long ago, in my early years of elementary school. This conversation was different from any conversation I had with him, or have had with him since, and it’s imprinted in my mind like a burn to the skin. My father warned me that kids might bully me in school. Not just basic playground teasing, but that they might not like that I’m Vietnamese, they might not like that my father is different than theirs, they might not understand it. I didn’t believe him. Until then, ignorance was bliss. I’m sure we got the same insensitive comments we do now, the same stares, but I was eight and seeing the world through rose colored lenses. The anti-Vietnamese sentiment from the war my father had experienced when coming to the States as a refugee was long ago, and no way could it still exist in 2007.

 

He was right.

 

He was right. He tried to warn me, I didn’t believe him, and there was nothing he could have said or done to truly prepare me for what I would encounter.

 

whitewash.

 

fasian.

 

fake asian.

 

mutt.

 

exotic.

 

ching chong.

 

chink.

 

It maybe wouldn’t be in elementary school, but certainly middle school and definitely high school would I be bullied for being Asian, ridiculed for my culture and upbringing, and called offensive slurs. I accepted it. I kept my head down, and my mouth shut. That’s what you’re taught to do when you grow up in Asian culture. Head down, mouth shut, hold your pride, work through it.

But when they kept cutting deeper, all I could do was go home trying to hold it together, wanting just to collapse in tears.

 

“Your dad’s accent is so thick it’s barely English. I can’t understand him.”

My father has lived in the States over 40 years and learned English relatively quickly when he got here. He attended one of the top engineering schools in the country and partially completed his master’s. I can’t hear his accent, and it hasn’t seemed to be an issue in communication with others while I’ve been alive, given that he’s navigated his way through interviews and the corporate world for 30+ years and currently holds a successful job at a Fortune 500 company.

Even if my father did have a thick accent, so? English is his second language, and between both Vietnamese and English, he probably knows more words and can communicate with more people than you, which applies to all immigrants. There seems to be a mentality in the States that those who speak English with an accent from an Asian language are somehow less intelligent or capable or are just downright comedic and a joke, while English speakers with British, Australian, or French accents are held up as attractive, elegant, and sophisticated.

 

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“Vietnamese food is so weird. I hate tofu. Why does it smell like that?”

Because it’s delicious and has flavor.

I never wanted to bring Vietnamese food or leftovers from the family restaurant to school for lunch because it was so different to the Lunchables everyone else was eating, and I was scared of being judged, taunted, or bullied further. Looking back at it, I wish I had.

 

“Do your people give *special* massages?”

Who even asks this, honestly. Like what is running through your mind? Yes, I’ve really been asked this, and no, I won’t be answering it again.

 

“You must have an aunt with a nail salon, right? Isn’t that like a requirement for Vietnamese people? The cheap ones are always Vietnamese.”

My aunts are an executive for a major shopping network, a nurse practitioner, a caretaker, a restaurateur, and an optometrist/entrepreneur, and I am immensely proud of all of them, but I would be just as proud if they were working at a nail salon. Stop treating that like a negative, you frequent them. Vietnamese nail salon owners are American entrepreneurs who own their businesses, contribute to the economy, and literally work on you hand and foot. Show some respect.

 

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“You’re Asian? Which one of your family members own a restaurant?”

My uncle and aunt, and their restaurant is fantastic. The Great Mandarin at the Eden Prairie Center in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. It’s a Chinese restaurant, but they do Pho Wednesdays (which is sooo good) and they’re A+. The restaurant actually used to be a favorite of the Minnesota Vikings. When you visit, tell Uncle Tony and Cô Ha that Eva says “Hi.”

I’m unsure why the family restaurant stereotype is often used against Asians negatively. Like nail salon owners, these restaurant owners are entrepreneurs, contributing to the economy and feeding you. There’s a certain expectation that Asian-owned restaurants are dirty, hole-in-the-walls, and have to be cheap — I’ve seen Asian-owned restaurants on Instagram getting hate for charging more than $6 for a banh mi (Vietnamese sandwich), yet white chefs owning Asian fusion restaurants are celebrated, raved about, and given Michelin stars. I’m proud of my family’s restaurant, it’s where my parents’ had their wedding reception, it’s where my family has had countless large lengthy dinners, it’s where the waitstaff remembers me and keeps the Shirley Temples flowing, it’s where I can find my great aunt, it’s where my cousin had her first job. Stop trying to discredit Asian restaurateurs who built their establishments from the ground up.

 

“Do you guys eat dog?”

No. Before you ask, my family didn’t eat dog in Vietnam, either. It’s really not as common as the stereotype suggests, but even if they did, then okay, what about it? Cultures are different. Cuisines are different. Lifestyles are different. Someone in another country is probably cringing at the amount of beef you have in your fridge.

 

Where are you from? No, where are you REALLY from?

Minnesota, but I’m living in New York now, thanks for asking!

I’ve gotten this question more times that I can count, and I often think of this video. One of the most memorable instances in which I got this question was going through airport security at LAX on my way back home to New York. I approached the TSA agent and handed him my passport (my ID was expired a few days at the time). The agent looked at my passport, then at me, then down to my passport again.

“Where are you from?” he asked.

Thinking he just wanted clarity as my passport address is in Minnesota, and I was traveling LAX to JFK, I responded, “Minnesota, but I’m living in New Yo–” yet he abruptly cut me off.

“NO. WHERE ARE YOU FROM?” he forcefully yelled. Passengers in line began to look up from their phones and stare. “What’s your ETHNICITY where are you FROM?”

Panicked, I rushed to get words out as fast as I could, “I’m Vietnamese and we don’t know what else my mothe—” he cut me off again by slamming my passport closed, and handing it back to me, not looking at me or saying anything further.

I went through security and boarded the plane feeling humiliated to have caused a scene in front of so many people and as though I had done something wrong. But what had I done wrong? Existing? Was my race really that much of a threat to airport security? The incident was a harsh reminder that while half the people I encounter see me as appearing very white, the other half see me as presenting very Asian, and I never truly know which way someone will perceive me. I was taken aback to have that type of experience with the government, of all entities. I was used to it from peers and everyday people, but did my own country view me as an outsider and therefore a threat?

 

The list goes on.

 

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Within my predominantly white school, this behavior was normalized and common. I was brushed off by the administrators and counselors who should’ve been there to support me. The few Asian students at my school were concentrated into our own group in the lunchroom. In a way, our little group of Asians almost acted like a safety bubble.

 

Now in the digital day and age, online Asian communities such as Subtle Asian Traits and Growing Up Viet, and media outlets such as Nextshark and Asians With Attitudes act like those same safety bubbles. These communities of hundreds of thousands of Asians include your next door neighbor all the way to celebrities such as Simu Liu, Phillip Lim, the cast of Bling Empire, Daniel Dae Kim, and more. But here everyone is, bonding over things like boba and parents cutting fruit to apologize or show love and Kim’s Convenience. In a weird way, seeing people of such celebrity interacting with the same groups and Instagram accounts as your next door neighbor, makes you remember how small the community is, and why it’s SO important to continue advocating for better visibility and representation in Hollywood, media, design, and more.

 

As a child, I don’t think I was actively aware of the full scope of the lack of Asian representation in the media, but I’d gravitate towards the character Lucy Liu was portraying or get excited when Brenda Song was on a Disney Channel movie or short. I got used to seeing the one Asian actor, if any, being cast as the dorky awkward nerdy, or the sexy airhead often with fake accent and somewhat offensive dialogue. As YouTube gained popularity in its early days, I watched Nigahiga, KevJumba, Wong Fu Productions, and Michelle Phan. My Asian-American friends and I would listen to K-pop groups like Girls’ Generation and BIGBANG in middle and high school, but where were the Asian American artists? Why weren’t they being played on the radio? Ten years later, and where are they now (they do exist, I recommend this playlist if you’re interested in diversifying your music library with Asian artists)? I’d come to find out years later as a young adult that across the country, other Asian-Americans my age had done the same, and paid attention to the same handful of celebrities and YouTubers because that’s all there really was.

 

The lack of AAPI representation in the media didn’t quite hit me fully until the release of Crazy Rich Asians in 2018. Seeing an entirely Asian cast in such a major film made me come to terms with the fact that I had normalized seeing fully white casts, and never questioned differently. That white stories being told through film and TV had contributed to feelings of my family being wrong compared to the picture of the perfect American family. But now at 22, I’ve learned that we weren’t wrong, we were just different. Different does not have to equate to being incorrect, it’s makes us interesting and our society more diverse. Difference has the power to move us forward. I wasn’t expecting to cry during Crazy Rich Asians, and I scarcely get emotional during films, but I found myself tearing up, not because of the story line itself but because of the subtle nuances in the film and dialogue that reminded me so much of my own family and had never been portrayed in such a spotlight before.

 

I had a similar moment while watching the first installment of To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before — at first glance, a fluff rom-com, but to me the first example I had of a mixed Asian family being portrayed in general. A film in which the white males didn’t fetishize their Asian partners, but respected them, and showed genuine interest in their culture. To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and Crazy Rich Asians premiered when I was 19, but they were the films I could have used at 12.

 

 

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Years later, and Anti-Asian sentiment in the United States has only gotten worse.

I’ve never viewed celebrating the Lunar New Year in the United States as an act of rebellion, but after a year of Asians being attacked at an alarming rate, it sure felt like one.

 

The world may just be waking up to it now, but for well over a year, Asian Americans have been screaming about the violent attacks against our community only to have it fall on deaf ears.

 

For over 365 days, Asians have been beaten, set on fire, verbally harassed, robbed, and murdered as a result of pandemic blame racism. Slammed to the ground, dragged behind cars, threatened, sent aggressive and racist letters, opened their businesses to find racist graffiti, the list goes on, and on, and on, and on again. Unfortunately, the last 365 days only reflect a surge of violence in a long, exhaustive history of Anti-Asian crime and policy in the States.

 

 

A Brief History of Anti-Asian Crime and Policy in the United States

In the 1860s, America had its eyes on the first transcontinental railroad, connecting the country from coast to coast. The intensity of the project demanded 5,000 workers, yet the head of construction, who had declared “I will not boss Chinese,” found himself with only 600 white laborers on the first day of construction. Chinese laborers stepped in, eventually accounting for 12,000 of the railroad’s workers, yet would receive unfair compensation.

 

Despite an eight day strike in 1867, these workers would not receive pay equal to their white counterparts. Despite their pivotal role in the completion of the First Transcontinental Railroad, Chinese would be contained to their own train car when riding, and scorned by white train passengers.

 

In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed to deny Chinese immigrants citizenship. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 was an escalation of the Page Exclusion Act of 1875, the United States’ first immigration ban law, which banned the entry of Chinese women specifically. The Page Exclusion Act of 1875 is a marker of the long history of fetishization Asian women face, as the act described that it was difficult to determine if they were traveling “for lewd and immoral purposes,” including prostitution. By 1924, with the exception of Filipinos, all Asians would be denied citizenship, and barred from marrying a Caucasian or owning land. This act wasn’t repealed until 1943, and when it was, it was only partially repealed. The act wasn’t repealed because of a change of heart towards Asian immigrants, rather out of hope that portraying the United States as an interracial superpower would aid in forming a transpacific alliance against the Axis powers.

 

Marriage laws sought to drive further division between Asians and white individuals in the United States. In 1907, the Expatriation Act took away citizenship from any American woman marrying a foreign national. For American women marrying Chinese men, that meant that the Chinese Exclusion Act would additionally apply to them. That same year, The United States and Japan would reach a “Gentleman’s Agreement” barring Japanese citizens from obtaining a passport if they intended to travel to the United States. This actually led to a surge in Japanese women immigrating to the United States to reunite with their husband, increasing anti-Japanese sentiment. Although originally China had a group of scholars strongly in favor of Chinese marrying Americans, eventually China came to also strongly condemn the marriages, as they were concerned overseas Chinese wouldn’t return to to aid China’s modernization. China, however, didn’t ban the marriages until 1910, and even then, only banned them for Chinese students, not Chinese laborers.

 

Even before that, in 1871, Chinese immigrants were the target victim in an outbreak of lynchings in San Francisco and Los Angeles. On October 24th, 1871, a riot group of over 500 White and Hispanic individuals surrounded the Chinese community in Los Angeles and attacked. Eight people were hung across downtown Los Angeles. Only eight rioters were convicted, and all were overturned, leaving the incident to go completely unpunished.

 

During this period, Chinese immigrants were portrayed as scammers and cheats in business and a threat to California’s white population. These immigrants were painted as dirty, and blamed for bringing infectious disease to the United States. This image would be reinforced in the early 20th century by American officials in the Philippines, describing Filipinos as filthy and uncivilized, while making claims of political unruliness and accusing their bodies of containing tropical illness. In 1904, 1000 Filipinos from 10 ethnic groups would be put on display at the World Fair in St. Louis, living in a 47 acre replica village, and being made to frequently butcher and eat dog.

 

Earlier still, In 1854, People v. Hall upheld Anti-Asian racism as the California Supreme Court ruled that an Asian could not testify against a white individual in court. This made it nearly impossible to accuse someone of an Anti-Asian crime. Furthermore, California’s constitution forbid businesses from hiring Chinese or Mongolians.

 

Just a few years after the Chinese Exclusion Act was enacted, in 1885, a group of 100-150 individuals surrounded a mine in Rock Springs, Wyoming Territory. They attacked Asian miners, killing 28 and burning 79 homes. Miners fled, boarding a train promising to bring them to San Francisco for safety. Instead, it took them back to Rock Springs, where they were forced back into the mine. For 13 years, federal law enforcement was posted to enforce their labor.

 

By the late 19th century, Asians were regarded as the “Yellow Peril,” a racist slur used to encompass many of the false narratives placed on the Asian community. Recently, the slur has gained popularity again as some Asian Americans have attempted to reclaim it as a statement of power.

 

 

Here’s where history eerily repeats itself:

 

 

San Francisco, 1900. A Chinese immigrant falls victim to the bubonic plague. The illness likely came in on an Australian ship, yet the whole Chinese community was blamed, and Chinatown surrounded by police overnight. Only white residents were allowed to enter or exit the perimeter, while police searched homes and destructed property. Like COVID-19, Chinese-Americans were not to blame for the outbreak, yet they found themselves primary targets for blame, racism, and violence. Anti-Asian sentiment was echoed in 2003, with the outbreak of SARS. Similar to the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian healthcare workers found themselves saving lives at work, and being targets of racism on their way home. There are several instances in world history in which Asians have fallen victim as target for blame for infectious disease outbreaks, and it’s important to understand how historic portrayals of Asians as dirty, a plague, and similar perpetuate this narrative and stereotyping into the present day.

 

Also in San Francisco, in 1907, Japanese students were banned from public schools. The argument was that the students were mostly male, and nearly adults, with ethically low standards, when in fact, that was not true. Later, in 1942, Japanese-Americans would be forced into interment camps during World War II. Over 110,000 were imprisoned for more than three years, despite most being United States citizens. Anti-Asian sentiment was not a partisan issue during the early-mid 1900s, rather a widespread opinion held by progressives and conservatives alike.

 

The controversy over the United States’ involvement in the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 1970s only increased Anti-Asian sentiment in the country. In the 1980s, Vietnamese fishermen faced discriminatory legislation and racism in Monterey Bay, California. This echoed nearly identical experiences in the late 1800s and early 1900s of Japanese and Chinese fishermen also in Monterey Bay. Meanwhile, in Texas, Vietnamese Shrimpers were being attacked by Ku Klux Klan members who targeted them in commando-style attacks. As Klan members patrolled, they would set Vietnamese-owned boats on fire, snipers would fire shots at Vietnamese boats, and a Vietnamese house was burned. Many mistook the Vietnamese refugees in Texas for Northern Vietnamese communists, but even those who didn’t wanted them forced out still, leading to a protest on February 14, 1981, which included a demonstration in how to burn a boat.

 

As Vietnamese fishermen and shrimpers were losing their livelihoods, in 1982, Vincent Chin was being brutally beaten to death. Vincent Chin was about to be married, about to start his family, look to the rest of his life. Celebrating, he found himself with friends at a bar in Detroit. He was viciously assaulted outside the bar with a baseball bat after two white men spotted him and picked a fight, blaming “the Japanese” for stealing automobile jobs. Chin passed away days later, and his assailants plead guilty to manslaughter, however despite the maximum sentence being 15 years, they only received probation and a $3,000 fine, equivalent to approximately $8,176 in present day. A common theme through American history is that Asians steal jobs from white individuals, as if an Asian individual’s success or wealth is a spot that a white person should have had.

 

These blatantly racist policies, attacks, and discriminatory practices may seem like history from long ago, but it is important to understand the United States’ long history of racism and discrimination against Asians in order to understand how anti-Asian sentiment continues to fester from generation to generation and in today’s society. This history is United States’ history, and instrumental in understanding how The sobering reality is that the numerous incidents of anti-Asian hate listed above still do not cover the entire history of anti-Asian racism in the United States, and many of the events described above are never written about in U.S. history textbooks.

 

ANTI-ASIAN RACISM + COVID-19

Grossly under punished crimes against Asians such as the case of Vincent Chin set the stage for the influx of brutal attacks and blatant racism against Asian Americans as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. If I was to describe each of the horrifying events of the last year, this post would be at least three times as long. Police data shows a 150% increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans, and data from Stop AAPI Hate shows at least 3,292 hate incidents against Asians in 2020-2021 alone. Numerous Asian Americans have been slammed to the ground and some killed, such as the cases of Vicha Ratanapakdee and Pak Ho; Noel Quintana, a Filipino man, was slashed ear to ear on a New York City subway; threatening, racist letters have been sent to countless Asian businesses and individuals; an Asian man was stabbed in the back walking around Chinatown in Manhattan; Asian business owners and individuals have found their property vandalized with racist slurs and COVID-19 blame; an AAPI woman was set on fire in New York City; churches and temples have been at the receiving end of racist messages; and seemingly endless amounts of Asian Americans have been verbally harassed. Perhaps most concerning was a devastating recent rampage in Atlanta in which a shooter targeted three Asian massage parlors, killing eight, including six Asian American individuals. Even as I write this post, the attacks keep coming in each day, including a 65 year old beaten and stomped on her way to church, while multiple people looked on, even closing the door on her. For more on the recent racist attacks against the Asian American community, please click here.

 

Although certainly not every crime committed against an Asian is race motivated, to say that the offender must have explicitly made anti-Asian statement in order for race to be a contributing factor ignores the reality that history created the precedent of Asians being perpetual foreigners. Recent studies show that not only do a majority of Americans view AAPI individuals as foreign-born, they are more likely to be identified as American if one of their physical traits is deemed “more American,” such as being overweight. These assumptions and biases of Asian Americans as perpetual foreigners can contribute to attacks being racially motivated, even without a direct verbal slur. Patterns are also important. Although hate crimes are difficult to prove in court, we, as a society can recognize when crimes may be racially motivated or increasing against a marginalized group by patterns — and the reality is that of the recent crimes committed within the Asian community, many were committed in the Chinatowns, Little Saigons, and Little Tokyos of western countries by non-Asian individuals. The reality is that in major cities, such as New York, hate crimes against Asians increased by as much as 833% from 2019 to 2020, despite the fact that hate crimes in general dropped 3%.

 

On top of the surge in racist attacks, despite having the lowest employment rate of any race prior to the pandemic, by May 2020, Asians had the highest unemployment rate of any racial group. Some of this can be attributed to the high density of Asian population in heavy-hit cities such as New York and Los Angeles and occupation, however Asian businesses were also targeted before the official start to the pandemic, as people urged each other to avoid Asian-owned businesses out of fear of catching the coronavirus. Within the Asian community, high unemployment rates can be partially attributed to the percentage of workers in service-based industries serving the AAPI community that were forced to close, such as restaurants and salons. Unfortunately this creates issues, as language barriers and location proximity make it difficult for these employees to find new work. Language barriers, resources, and immigration status also contribute to the fact that in 2016, Asian Americans had the largest wealth disparity of any group. Moreover, Asians in the lower 10th percentile of income had overwhelmingly the least economic growth of any group at just 11% from 1970-2016.

 

Asian discrimination in the workplace is likely much higher than reported numbers. In 2005, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission reported that only 3% of discrimination filings were from Asian Americans, yet Gallup reported 30% of Asian Americans perceived discrimination at their place of employment.

 

Furthermore, according to the Pew Research Center, since the start of the pandemic, two in five Asian Americans reported someone feeling uncomfortable around them due to their race. The report also stated that Asian Americans are more likely than any other group to have experienced slurs and jokes or feared physical attack since the start of the pandemic.

 

As Asian Americans speak out against the recent surge in attacks, our voices have been questioned and devalidated by the general population. Within Asian communities, the comments are overwhelmingly supportive, AAPI individuals denouncing the attacks and looking to support each other. When the same attacks are reported in non-Asian communities, it’s rare to find a comment section without several accusations that the attack was faked, that Asians deserve the racism, or that Asians don’t experience racism as the “model minority.”

 

The model minority myth is exactly that — a myth. The model minority myth was created to cause further division between racial minorities, as policy, sentiment, and rhetoric within the United States continued to be anti-Asian. The model minority myth was created to discredit Black and brown accusations of racism in the United States causing division and resentment within minority communities. It also discredited Asian outcries of perpetuated the idea that Asians do not require government aid. In some instances, it has also led educators to believe that Asian students will succeed with little help despite their level of need for support.

 

 

THE BOTTOM LINE

For the last 365 days, I have gone to sleep scared and anxious that I’ll wake up the next morning to find out that it’s one of my family members as the next victim. Just recently, it was a close friend’s mother who found herself victim in San Francisco. In the words of Bing Chen, “One push, One murder, Against someone else, Just means they just missed you this time.”

 

As someone considered a sometimes white-passing Asian, I acknowledge that I will NEVER know the true fear of stepping out into the streets during this time. Still, this is my family in danger, my cmmunity under attack, my culture targeted, and I refuse to stay silent.

 

The history of anti-Asian racism in the United States is long and complicated, but it still has very real repercussions today and affects the treatment and stereotypes surrounding Asian-Americans every day. The incidences named in this post are a few of many, and unfortunately every day, another incidence of anti-Asian racism is appearing on my feed. Names of those lost such as Christian Hall and Xiaojie Tan haunt me, because their descriptions are so scarily similar to my family and friends.

 

I see the news of those lost, I see the names of those hurt, and the more fed up I get, the more my fear grows, the louder I yell about anti-Asian hate, the more hopeless I feel.

 

Even now, typing out this post, I’ve had to step away from my keyboard countless times because tears are welling in my eyes and emotional exhaustion becomes a physical toll.

 

I don’t have the answers. What I do know, is that this problem isn’t going to fix itself overnight. There’s temporary, quick fixes, sure. For the Asian businesses who have been disproportionately affected by COVID, frequent them. Consider switching out one of your takeaway order to an Asian-owned spot. For the truly heinous attacks, punish them, and punish them appropriately.

 

But actually changing mentality, changing consideration, and changing how someone thinks is much more daunting. Representation in the media is a start, especially for young, impressionable children who take behavioral cues and norms from television programming, movies, and music. Change needs to be in the classrooms — educators that consider the Asian American experience when educating students about Americans. Textbooks that bring to light the realities of Asian treatment in the late 1800s/late 1900s rather than just the Chinese Exclusion Act, Japanese Internment Camp, and a glossy, brief statement about Chinese contribution to the transcontinental railroad. Educators that are able to make connections for students between historical events and modern day ramifications.

 

Change needs to include community. If you’re non-AAPI, have the difficult conversations with your friends and family members. Everyone is an influencer within their innermost circles, use it to make a positive change.

 

Start asking yourself “why?” Ask yourself why Chinatowns exist. Ask yourself why the expectation is for Asian-owned establishments to have lower price points than their counterparts. Ask yourself why Cambodians tend to own donut shops, or Vietnamese tend to own nail salons.

 

In the age of cancel culture, I think it’s important to remember that we don’t know what we don’t know. I’m not perfect, and I can’t expect anyone else to be either. Despite what I may have witnessed in the past, I can’t fault anyone for things they may have said or done when they didn’t know what they didn’t know. That’s why I believe that it’s so important to normalize changing our minds, and to those people: I hope they take this moment to learn what they didn’t know they didn’t know, and make a commitment to change moving forward.

 

I know that at times this post may have felt sappy, at times it may have felt angry, at times sassy, at times argumentative, at times hopeless, because it was. Despite this rollercoaster of emotions I’ve been experiencing the last 450 or so days, I have been moved to the point of tears seeing how some have come out to support the AAPI community in the last month (no really, I almost ruined my mascara driving past Union Square on my way to a date just a few weeks ago). Despite the weight and darkness of seeing a new brutal attack every day, the small glimpses of light have been seeing increasing amounts of people speaking out, and those outside of the AAPI community who have reached out to send messages of support. I see them, and although admittedly most days I’m too emotionally exhausted to respond after seeing the heaviness of the events that day, I DO appreciate them.

 

I started Eva Darling on my 14th birthday, as a direct result of the racism-fueled bullying and otherism I encountered in school. I felt alone. I felt like I didn’t have a voice, and this website gave me one. I wanted to create a place where the young girl I was then would never feel like she was truly alone. Eight years later, and I’m grateful that this website has given me the platform to be brave enough to say what I couldn’t then.

 

If you’re made it to the end of this post, thank you for hearing me out. Thank you for trying to learn. If you have found any of the information here helpful, please consider clicking around my website a bit longer as I’ve intentionally demonetized this post.

 

xx,

E

 

SOURCES + FURTHER READING AND WATCHING

Information in the following articles and videos contributed to this post and are all great resources for further education on the history of anti-Asian racism in the United States and the model minority myth. I recommend prioritizing “We Need to Talk About Anti-Asian Hate,” a video by Eugene Lee Yang primarily, the Stop AAPI Hate National Report for a breakdown on recent attacks against Asian Americans, and “Why We Must Talk About the Asian-American Story, Too,” an article by Brando Starkey with a great succinct explanation of the model minority myth. Click on the bold text to view the article or video.

 

SOURCES

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Chin, A. (n.d.). The KKK and Vietnamese fishermen. University of North Carolina.

Cheryan, S., & Monin, B. (2005). Where are you really from?: Asian Americans and identity denial. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89(5), 717–730.

de Leon, A. (2020, April 9). The long history of racism against Asian Americans in the U.S. PBS.

Fish, E. (2017, January 10). How mixed chinese-western couples were treated a century ago. Asia Society.

General, R. (2021, March 05). Police data SHOWS 150% increase in hate attacks on Asians across major cities in 2020. Nextshark.

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Hiltzik, M. (2021, March 22). The roots of anti-Asian violence can be found in California history. Los Angeles Times.

Horsley, S. (2020, October 01). ‘Overlooked’: Asian American jobless Rate Surges but few take notice. NPR.

Hwang, V. M. (2000). The Interrelationship between, Anti-Asian Violence and Asian America. Chicana/o Latina/o Law Review, 21(1), 17–37.

Jack-Davies, A. (2021, March 24). Coronavirus: The ‘yellow peril’ revisited. The Conversation.

Jeung, R., Yellow Horse, A., Popovic, T., & Lim, R. (2021, February 28). Stop AAPI Hate National Report. Stop AAPI Hate.

Kochhar, R., & Cilluffo, A. (2020, August 21). Income inequality in the U.S. is Rising most rapidly Among Asians. Pew Research Center.

Little, B. (2020, May 05). How the 1982 murder of Vincent Chin ignited a push for Asian American rights. History.

NEW Gallup Poll on Employment DISCRIMINATION Shows Progress, Problems 40 Years after founding of EEOC. (2005, December 08). U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Rotondi, J. (2021, March 19). Before the Chinese Exclusion act, This Anti-immigrant law targeted Asian women. History.

Ruiz, N., Horowitz, J., & Tamir, C. (2020, December 17). Many black, Asian Americans say they have experienced discrimination Amid Coronavirus. Pew Research Center.

Starkey, B. S. (2016, November 4). Why we must talk about the Asian-American story, too. The Undefeated.

Yam, K. (2021, March 09). Anti-Asian hate crimes increased by nearly 150% in 2020, mostly in N.Y. and L.A., new report says. NBC.

Yang, E. L. (2021). We Need To Talk About Anti-Asian Hate. YouTube. YouTube.

 

 

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Nextshark

Nextshark is the leading source of news concerning the Asian diaspora.

Stop AAPI Hate

Stop AAPI Hate is a hate reporting center created in partnership by the the Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council, Chinese for Affirmative Action, and San Francisco State University. Incidents may be reported in a plethora of languages on their website, and their Instagram account remains a leading source of anti-Asian hate crime information.

Gold House

Gold House works towards the inclusivity, representation, and success of AAPI individuals.

Hate is a Virus

Hate is a Virus aims to raise money for organizations serving the AAPI community, and provide education resources on racism and hate.

Send Chinatown Love

Send Chinatown Love works to provide relief to small, off the grid businesses in NYC’s Chinatown who were hit first by the pandemic. Businesses in Chinatown reported 60-80% revenue losses before the pandemic officially started in February 2020.

 

PIN ME!

Pin one of the images below to save the information in this post for future reference, and help spread awareness.

 

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Eva Phan of Eva Darling little havana miami florida instagrammable hibiscus floral staircase where to go miami travel guide calle ocho

Hi, I'm Eva! I'm best described as an aspiring Blair Waldorf with a case of the travel blog that can't be cured. I'm a lover of witty words, pink peonies, and slight sarcasm. Originally from the Minneapple {Minneapolis, Minnesota}, and now living in the Big Apple, you can probably find me most often on a plane, running down Park Avenue stressed out in 4" heels, or planning my next getaway. Click on the photo to learn more.

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