|Vol. 16 No. 6
March 22, 2021
Columns & Features
by Heidi M. Pascual
by Jamala Rogers
by Jamala Rogers
|Why Grandmothers are Important
Editor’s Note – Due to the lack of space and the importance that this column be timely, I cede my
column space to Sharyl Kato, co-chair of the Wisconsin Organization for Asian Americans.
Reflections will return with our April 5th edition.
Anti-Asian Hate and Violence Cannot Be Ignored
By Sharyl Kato
The horrific atrocity of eight individuals murdered in Atlanta, last week, amplifies many triggers for me, on many different levels,
personal, professional, social and political. This tragedy and so many others, occurring over the past year, highlights the racism
our country has held for centuries, against Asian Americans. Feelings of fear and dread rise for me, now, from my childhood
and throughout adulthood, having observed and experienced harassment.
Many Americans are confused about how to view, or think about Asian Americans, that is, if they view them at all. There are
many commonalities in racism towards varying groups of color, but there are also differences. Racism towards Asian Americans
has a different “slant.. During the war, a fear of Asian Americans as threats to physical safety, as depicted in comic books, as
the “sneaky,” “mysterious,” “sadistic,” “yellow peril.” Asian Americans are viewed as financial threats, academic, or as
Burns -- Dist. 12
Tuck - District 14
business competitors. Assumptions about Asian Americans as foreigners, or since our skin color is not dark enough, have higher income, or education, deem us as
not qualifying as a “legitimate” protected minority.
Atrocities have occurred throughout our recent history, with Chinese immigrants lynched in the 1800’s. There was a camp where Chinese immigrants lived who laid
railroad tracks right in Madison on West Washington Ave. One can imagine how many immigrants died during those days due to accidents and lack of health care. Or
an incident with a Hmong family murdered in Milwaukee because they spoke with an accent. I recall, in Madison, a World War II veteran had a rifle on a tripod aimed
at a Japanese couple living across the street from him.
At times I see racist violence as a parallel to behaviors of offenders of domestic violence, child abuse, or sexual assault, where power and control, taking one’s own
hate, pain, anger and emptiness, and externalized, towards others, towards more vulnerable and helpless targets, such as the recent older individuals, women, or child
victims. I also see the extremes of lack of human attachment, caring and trust resulting in individuals, feeling like objects and if that occurs, then others are seen as
objects by them, as well. -- READ MORE