by Madhumita Kannan ’22
Published Mar. 26th, 2021
In the past year, Asian-Americans have faced a severe rise in hate crimes, physical attacks, and racially-driven harassment. While this issue has become more prevalent across the nation today, it is certainly not a new one.
A poll conducted among members of the MHS student body suggests that the Montgomery community demonstrates a wide range of understanding about anti-Asian violence.
Several causes can be identified for the sudden spike in anti-Asian violence, but the most prominent one noted among MHS students was the response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Rohin Mishra ‘21 states that the “public scapegoating of Asians as a means to deflect from incredibly poor pandemic responses” was one factor that contributed significantly to anti-Asian hate.
Chloe Sun ‘24 agrees, saying that “Trump’s anti-Asian, or at least, very biased comments, have also made the situation worse, creating further prejudice against Asian-Americans for bringing about this ‘China Virus’.”
Hedy Yang ‘22 looks at this from a different perspective, suggesting that “Asians have always been taught to bear injustices silently…it seems as if this translates into the message that these types of things do not bother [the Asian] community and consequently we are an ‘easy’ target.”
Awareness against anti-Asian violence is growing, but it is clear that there is a lot more that can be done. The general consensus among MHS students was that the media is not doing enough to cover this topic.
“A lot of what I’ve heard has been through social media platforms like TikTok or Instagram,” says Hedy Yang ‘22.
Chloe Sun ’24 adds that there are “many other pressing issues of racism and discrimination… making it difficult for the media to cover all recent events with undivided attention.”
While this issue may seem difficult or complex to tackle appropriately on a larger scale, there are many steps that we can take within our MHS community to move in the right direction.
Audrey Chang ‘23 suggests that “we all need to be more self aware of what we do and say to make sure we are not acting inappropriately.”
Annabelle Wang ‘22 states that “a big struggle with getting support for civil rights movements is convincing the people in power or the larger majorities that they won’t be hurt by the change – it’s a beneficial change that educates them [and] allows them to meet new people and stop putting down other living beings just because they can and were born into that path.”
Continuing to educate ourselves and standing in solidarity with AAPI communities who have been affected by the violence is the least we can do to combat racially-driven hatred: there is a long way to go in making our nation a more accepting place, and every person has a role in these efforts.