Asian creatives set the tone for culture.
AAPI stands for Asian American and Pacific Islander. Hate is self-explanatory. We know it when we see it. The spike in AAPI hate and anti-Asian violence over the past year has been extremely harrowing and sickening, and now Tuesday is just the latest example.
A 21-year-old white male shot up several different massage parlors in Atlanta, killing 6 AAPI women, one white woman, and one white man. Police are not rushing to classify this as a hate crime against AAPI. We are not so cavalierly patient.
Anti-Asian violence in the U.S. increased by 150 percent in 2020. This also came as overall hate crimes fell (ostensibly because so many people were in quarantine). Tuesday’s violent AAPI hate-fueled killings are just the latest problem in what is clearly an epidemic.
What can we do in dire times such as these? We can put pressure on our representatives to take severe action. We can check up on our AAPI friends. And we can listen to creatives of Asian descent everywhere to see how they are doing.
Eddie Huang speaks on AAPI hate
Eddie Huang, star of the recently-released Boogie, has been on a creative tear recently. Also a star of Fresh Off the Boat, Huang has been dedicated to exploring Asian Americans deep and nuanced personalities.
So it came as no surprise that the shootings on Tuesday affected him deeply.
Enough is enough. We have been speaking out for an entire year about the hate towards Asian Americans ever since Trump started calling it the ‘China Virus’ and the ‘Kung Flu.’ This was a coordinated attack on multiple Asian businesses with 6 Asian victims. Stand with us, speak up with us, and if there is any humanity in you, recognize that our pain is yours as well. No one should be targeted and murdered because you don’t like the color of their skin, PERIOD.Eddie Huang via his Instagram
Many AAPI spoke out on social media that they are still tired of fighting and crying for the anti-Asian violence to stop. Huang’s impassioned Instagram pleas resonate with many people of Asian or Pacific Island descent. And as he also says, the pain and indignation should be shared by everyone.
Jenny Yang encapsulates how many of us are feeling about the rise in anti-Asian violence
Jenny Yang is a comedian, writer, and actor. She is the co-founder and co-producer of Dis/orient/ed Comedy, a nationally touring comedy showcase of Asian-American women.
Yang is vocal about AAPI hate and its reverberating effects. She is clear about how jokes and stereotypes can lead to violence against Asian Americans, specifically women. Tuesday struck a final chord.
Yang also made a concerted effort to explain to her 50K plus followers on Twitter that decriminalizing sex work is necessary in stopping AAPI hate and anti-Asian violence. One cannot be for liberation if they are not for liberation for all.
Kat Chow looks at the victims whose lives were cut short
Kat Chow is an American podcaster and author. After the news broke on Tuesday, her attention turned to the lives lost, who too often are cast aside while the evil killer is given a spotlight.
Members of the media must be extremely cautious when covering this story. Preconceptions and stereotypes must be thrown out the window. And the fragile nature of sex work must be understood when covering this issue.
Too often, AAPI people are left out of conversations about hate, about marginalization, about disenfranchisement. But under white supremacist foundations, everyone not white is pitted against each other. Let us not forget that when we are calling for unity.
AAPI hate must stop. But it takes all of us
Many more creatives spoke out against anti-Asian violence, but we wanted to highlight three who opened up extremely important conversations.
Hateful rhetoric has ramifications. Racist jokes also have ramifications. Remember this anytime you say “it’s just a joke.”
We stand with our AAPI brothers and sisters who need our support right now. They need our kindness, compassion, and also determination to root out racism, root and stem.