Where do I begin?
I am angry.
I am sad.
And I am scared.
I’m scared to talk about this because I don’t want my family to become the next target, to become the next Asian Americans killed out of hate. But I also know that if I have the platform to speak, I have to put aside my fears, because this racism and hate against Asians, against everyone, needs to stop.
I am first-generation American, the daughter of two immigrants who moved from Taiwan to the United States in the 1970s to give my sister and me a better life. I am proud to be Asian.
In my lifetime, I've been called all kinds of racial slurs.
When I was a child, my mom and I took our dog to a groomer, and we were kicked out because her English was too broken.
The Asian neighbors who live down the street from my childhood home were tied up, beat and robbed just a few years ago. Those suspects waited for them to pull into their garage, and attacked them. I remember every neighbor, including my parents buying surveillance cameras, being afraid to open their doors and leave their homes because they felt like the Asian neighborhood was being hit.
Even last month at Target here in Dallas, I was shunned by the cashier who wouldn’t look me in the eye or take my payment. But she was certainly happy to talk to the customer behind me. You know what that felt like? It felt like she was disgusted by me because of my race, and disgusted by my husband, who is Asian too.
It happens on the job when I’m reporting in the field as well. I remember someone once said they wanted “that communist reporter that brought the kung flu to Texas” to be fired.
Well, I’m here to tell the bigots, I'm not going anywhere.
I’m here to give a voice to the Asian community that is all too often silenced.
We have to talk about what happened in Atlanta. Eight people were killed at three Asian businesses. We know at least six victims were Asian women. Everyone is waiting for a confirmation of the motive. Is it a hate crime? Is it not?
Let me just make this very clear:
His motive does not negate the way Asian Americans feel about what happened, and what is continuing to happen across the country.
There are Asians, elderly and young, being attacked, hit, stabbed, pushed and injured. There are Asian businesses that are targeted, graffitied and threatened.
And many of us are culturally quiet and polite, or taught to not cause any trouble. But you can only push a person so far.
I am standing with my Asian brothers and sisters. And I need you to stand with us too. I don’t care what color or creed you are. And by color, I don’t just mean black, white, brown or yellow. I mean blue, red, green and purple.
Rhetoric matters. Speak up when you see hate. Use whatever platform you have to denounce racism. Push your leaders for anti-hate crime legislation. And check in on your Asian neighbors and friends.
We need you right now.
We need you to stand with us.
We need you to fight alongside us to stop Asian hate.