This morning, I woke up to the news that eight women had been murdered in Atlanta. Eight people, including four Asian women, lost their lives to a white man with a gun. The assailant appeared to have targeted Asian-owned businesses, making this racist, misogynistic crime all the more closer to home. Sadly, it’s just one of hundreds, if not thousands, of violent crimes against the Asian diaspora in the West at the moment.
I’ve spoken about my lived experiences as a British-Chinese woman countless times on here. Somewhat fittingly, my first post dedicated to the topic first published four years ago this month. It felt like a breath of fresh air to hit ‘Publish’ and it felt incredibly vulnerable to sit and hold that fresh-air breath as I waited to see how it’d go down, for women the world over have had their voices ignored, brushed aside, not believed, for years. And for marginalised women, that runs deeper. I’m grateful that, for the most part, I can be trusted upon here to share my voice and air an opinion, which is why I wanted to share this post today.
Undoubtedly sparked by fury that the pandemic started in China and the misinformation that has climbed its way around the grapevine since, anti-Asian hate crime* has surged more than 300% in the UK and more than 1,400% in the USA. Those numbers circle around my mind morning, day and night. Wondering if I’ll become one of those numbers and then, ultimately, realising that I already am. I’ve reported multiple instances of racist hate crime in the past year, and little to no action is ever taken. I don’t doubt that you’ll already know I have little faith in the ‘benefits’ and impact of the police system when it comes to racism.
The #StopAsianHate hashtag is a grassroots movement that goes beyond a hashtag for me. Lord knows I know the power of social media. I’d be lying if I said that reading the stories doesn’t set off triggers in me, but the movement is there nonetheless. At long last, more and more of the Asian diaspora feel able to share their stories and begin the process of humanising ourselves. No longer are we diminutive figures in white-dominant spaces, quiet (and in turn complicit in supremacist systems), but we’re fighting back and reclaiming a place on the earth we share. We don’t stand for violence, certainly not against our elders – filial piety takes care of that – and we do stand for equality, we stand with other marginalised communities, we stand with women, we stand with sex workers.
The work is only just getting started, and I really hope you’ll join in with amplifying our voices, our stories and our pain. Use your own voice to speak to friends, family, co-workers. Use your voice to write to your local MP and put pressure on the government to represent and protect the Asian community on a bigger scale.
My thoughts this week are with the eight Asian-American women from Atlanta and their families. May peace find them.
*Reports of hate crime. The true number and percentage is likely to be higher due to a cultural notion that we should to keep to ourselves in a white-dominant society.
- ‘How British east and southeast Asians are fighting racism during the pandemic’ on The Independent
- ‘The U.S. Is Seeing a Massive Spike in Anti-Asian Hate Crimes’ on The Cut
- ‘Young, Proud and Sung-Jee’, a children’s book about fighting anti-Asian racism
- Stop Discriminasian
- Donate to the Hate Is A Virus fund