Unite Against Racism!

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May 30, 2021

Unite Against Racism

Two weeks ago, my dad and I were planting a sign in front of our house that read “Stop Asian Hate – All Humans are Equal!” Then, a rich white woman walked by and told us, in front of her children, “If you do not want to be called a virus, then do not act like one. Why do you Asians eat such unusual food such as bats or dogs?!? That’s disgusting.” She laughed and walked away. A wave of emotions swept me immediately. Ten seconds ago, I was happy, hopeful, and optimistic, but now I felt shocked, angry, and offended. It was quite bold of her to say such a rude and racist comment in front of us and her children. I thought that, since our house was in a nice neighborhood, racism didn’t exist here. However, this case proved that racism is everywhere and it is a huge problem.

When people think of racism, they usually think of slavery in the 1800s or segregation in the 1900s. Until now, however, has anyone thought that we Asians have been discriminated against, too? Many people don’t acknowledge it, but Asians have. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and Japanese Internment Camps are two prime examples of Asian racism in history. Besides, people fail to recognize Asians’ contributions to US history, so they think it’s “okay” since we’ve done nothing to the US. However, we have. Chinese workers helped build the Transcontinental Railroad, which reduced the travel time across the US tremendously. In fact, they helped speed up the railroad construction by many years even though they were paid a third of white worker wage. When I asked my friends and my classmates what they understood about Asian history, to my surprise, many didn’t know anything. I realized that Asian history is not widely known throughout the US, so we must spread the history. We need Asian writers to publish more Asian books, teachers to include Asian history in their curriculum, and Asian holidays to be celebrated! Otherwise, people don’t know the Asian history in the US and they will be less likely to support it.

This was also the first racism case against me, and it made me feel horrible. I’ve never felt racism against me, nor have I advocated against it. Now I understand, and I realize that racism is much more than that. It dehumanizes a group of people, purely by their race. I can’t imagine how the 4,000 Asians felt when they were victims of racial violence. I wanted to take action, so I decided to attend an Asian Hate Protest the week after. I’ve never been to a protest before, and I’ve never thought of going to one until now. I felt hopeful to meet with people who had similar thoughts and beliefs as me.

I expected only Asians to come- it was a “Stop Asian Hate” protest. However, I saw many different races – black, white, and Hispanic supporting us in the protest! Even whole families came to show their support. I felt more hopeful, optimistic, and passionate because of their support. With newly found courage, I did something that I would never do in my entire life: I gave a speech in front of more than 200 people. I would not have done this in a million years, but I felt the issue was too great to be ignored. I thought, maybe other people would be inspired by my actions – and people did! A little kid came up and told me that he wanted to do this in his future! That day, I finally did something to help fight racism. Of course, I helped, but there is only so much I can do. I am a drop of water, and to fill the ocean, to show that Asian racism is a big problem, we need more drops of water (or more supporters). We need more people to raise their voices and express their feelings. With a million or ten million drops of water, we will fill the ocean and make a difference!

While Asian hate is considered a little issue in the US currently, change is being made due to our actions, and that is a sign of hope for me, my family, and the Asian community around us. For example, President Biden recently signed the “Anti Asian Hate” bill, and Vice President Kamala Harris has become the first Asian president. Asian people in other cities are starting to protest and speak out, too. However, we still need to push forward and continue making progress. I am proud of my blessings, culture, and most of all, my Asian descent.

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3 thoughts on “Unite Against Racism!”
  1. Ethan,

    There is a Chinese idiom, “水滴石穿,“ which means, “constant dripping wears away a stone.”

    Xi

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