Asian-Americans in the Hays Community speak out

Salinas Dinh, writer, photographer, Legacy staffer

As you scroll through your social media feed, you’re approached with posts containing numerous videos and interviews from both the elderly and the young who faced ridicule, mockery, and senseless violence simply because they’re Asian. These large numbers of attacks all go unprovoked. In the past year, Asian hate crimes have skyrocketed to a whopping 3,800 attacks according to Stop APPI Hate. The reports also showed that 68% of the hate crimes were verbal harassment and name-calling, while the 11% contained physical violence. Leaders of the organization say that the statistics are much higher since a lot of cases go unreported.

Ever since Covid19 spreaded and drastically touched the lives of others all across the world, rage and racism towards the Asian community brewed. The needles hate only amplified when racist commentary made by former president Trump, referred to the Virus as “The China Virus,” and “Kung-Flu.” Words matter. Especially words from the person who held a position of power in the country, the influence and demeanor of that person affects the lives of many.

The Asian-American students of Hays CISD voices their grievances over the matter, encouraging their peers and community to join the movement of #StopAsianHate.

Dillon Tran, 10, said, “Violence should never be resorted to, especially if it’s something that is false,” referring to the racially motivated incidents, and how the blame of the pandemic fell on Asian-Americans.

“I worry for my parents when they go out in public spaces without me. I want to be there to protect them by verbally standing up for them,” Angie Song, 11, from Johnson HS expresses her concern over safety. Although she believes her parents could defend themselves if an unfortunate situation is presented, she still worries since her mother speaks broken English. She knows “there will be sick people out there that can take advantage of that.”

Song’s wish is for others to understand that even if the stereotypes of Asians are seemingly harmless, they are far from it. They hurt us in ways that outsiders can’t see, she said.

Writer’s Note: Usually when I’m writing a formal article it must be from an impartial, observer’s point of view, unless it was an opinion piece or review. But this time I’m inserting myself in the narrative because the hate that the AAPI community has faced is something that has hit close to home. Even though Buda is a small suburban city, and the chances of me getting attacked are slim, I still fear going out in public spaces alone. We should not have to fear for our friends, family, and for ourselves simply because we are Asian. There are many microaggressions and stereotypes that have been normalized to enable racism toward us. The adversity that we face cannot be glazed over. This is nothing new. We are not your ‘model minority,’ your fetish, or a virus. Your hate is a virus.

I, along with many others ,ask for those who are not Asian-Americans to reflect, and to be more mindful of the AAPI community, and the circumstances surrounding us. Fighting racism is more than supporting businesses, and a single hashtag. Fighting racism is about dismantling harmful rhetoric, educating others, educating ourselves and practicing the power of compassion. We are stronger when we are together, and united with love.

Resources: https://anti-asianviolenceresources.carrd.co/



If you or a loved one experienced a hate crime, you can report it here: https://stopaapihate.org/

Your voice matters. You are heard. You are seen.