Anti-Asian Hate and Violence Cannot Be Ignored Cannot Be Ignored
By Sharyl Kato
- Co-Chair, Wisconsin Organization for Asian Americans
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 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.