Stop the hate

SHS students discuss the impact of current racism toward the Asian community


Taken by NBC News

Protesters protest at the Statehouse of Boston on March 12, 2020. The rise in crimes against Asians stemming from the Corona virus have led to other protests around the country.

Sophomore Julie Tha remembers the day she saw the clips of a 91-year-old Asian man, Carl Chan, being attacked on a sidewalk in California on Feb. 31. The masked assailant then went on to attack two other Asian people on the same street. This event caused all three of the victims to be hospitalized.

Tha remembers seeing videos and stories of these three Asian people all over news stations and social media feeds. 

“Seeing those clips and seeing the news, it made me really upset and sad,” Tha said. “They are someone’s grandparents, dad, mother and uncle, and they come to this country where anything can happen. And they are just trying to make it big while living peacefully, and now they have to go through this.”

Hate crimes and violence against Asians living in the U.S. have been on the rise since the beginning of the spread of the coronavirus in the U.S.

Psychology major Jenni Thang, who is in her senior year at Indiana University Bloomington, believes that a large cause of the increase in violence is due to the language used by leaders in the U.S., especially from previous President Donald Trump. 

“Especially with the global pandemic, the way he used certain words made it sound as if it was acceptable to say ‘Hey, this is where COVID came from. Therefore crime against the Asian community is acceptable,’” Thang said.

Tha thinks that it isn’t always just hatred for Asians that is causing this violence, but rather there is a need for an explanation. She thinks for some people who have had their lives drastically affected by COVID-19, Asians are an easy target for that anger due to the stereotypes that are already in place.

Even though she knows that language and education play a factor in violence based on race, Thang also says she knows that there are some people who are just prejudiced for no reason.

“There are some people that, regardless of the education or language we use, they just have that hate and prejudice in them,” Thang said. “It’s inevitable. There are some people that do it solely out of their hatred for one certain group of people.”

The rise in violence has affected the everyday lives of Asian people living in the U.S. According to Thang, some are scared to leave their homes, and others are dealing with the emotional and physical effects that come with this violence. 

The increased violence makes Asians worried for their safety, as well as the safety of those they care about. 

“Even though I can defend myself, I fear for my parents or relatives or family members who can’t speak English or don’t even have the ability to defend themselves if they were to encounter a situation,” Thang said. 

SHS’s campus police officer Lucas Quinlan has been happy to see that even though there has been a rise in violence in the country, SHS has not seen any of these attacks within the building.

“I don’t know if our school buys into that stuff,” Quinlan said. “We’re just so diverse here.”

When it comes to making a difference and bringing change, Thang says it is important to stand up to those committing these crimes and acts of violence. She says it is also important to help those who have experienced hate. 

Tha thinks the best way to fight against violence is for people to educate themselves and others.

“First, people can educate themselves so they don’t just jump to conclusions or believe everything the media writes,” Tha said. “Second, people can spread awareness on their social media accounts on what is happening in the Asian community.”