America has a problem of systemic discrimination against some races. This time, the target is Asian Americans. The scale? Nationwide.
One of the most recent stunning disclosures came from law enforcement. On Wednesday, one day after the bloody serial killing of eight people in Atlanta, six of the victims Asian women, Georgia Sheriff's Captain Jay Baker described the 21-year-old suspect Robert Aaron Long as "kind of at the end of his rope, and yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did".
Many considered Baker's remarks unprofessional and unconscionable. The fact that Long has scrutinized his prey and chose spas operated by Asians to open fire, in my opinion, indicated that he has stereotyped Asian women at spas as sex workers, and he is a racist. The coward was trying to legitimize his shootings by using his so-called "sex addiction" as a sheer excuse.
"Baker on one hand said the investigation is still in an early stage. On the other hand, he can't conceal his impulse to whitewash the killer's motivation," said Maggie Luo, a San Francisco resident. "That's really offensive to the Asian community."
Baker also reportedly shared in 2020 an image of a T-shirt on Facebook, which contained a racial slur associating the coronavirus with China. "Covid 19: imported virus from Chy-na," the slogan on the front read. According to The Daily Beast, the T-shirts were made by a company owned by a former deputy sheriff for Cherokee County, where Baker is stationed.
"A law enforcement officer is trying to entitle this pandemic to China? This is problematic, this is disgusting," said Joshua Steckler, a history teacher at a California middle school. "This is not in any way how an American should perform. This is another drop in the bucket of racism in our country."
Racial discrimination against Asians is on the street.
On March 14, Maura Moynihan, daughter of the late US Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a New York Democrat, and an artist herself, was caught on video uttering a racist rant in a New York City cab to a young Asian couple. Moynihan told Maria Ha, who was born in Korea, "You are not from here. Go back to China."
She continued her verbal abuse after Ha's California-born husband Dan Lee started filming. It came as no surprise that Moynihan is a habitual China-basher. In several of her video productions, she allegedly claimed that the coronavirus was made in China.
In San Francisco, where Asian Americans constitute more than half the population, racial attacks against Asians have been on a continuous rise.
On Tuesday, a 76-year-old Asian woman became the latest victim in the Bay Area. Xie Xiaozhen was waiting at a traffic light on Market Street when a man in his 30s punched her by her left eye, totally unprovoked.
"I'm very traumatized, very scared and this eye is still bleeding," Xie told local media Thursday.
Racism also looms on university campuses. On March 11, in multiple buildings at Syracuse University in New York, notes containing racist attacks targeting Chinese students were found.
"Beware of Chinese government student agents on campus", the notes pinned to a bulletin board read. Two weeks earlier, a police report was filed to document two individuals verbally abusing a student at the same university using anti-Asian language.
Hate crimes against Asian Americans rose 150 percent in 2020 amid the pandemic, according to NPR. Enough is enough. We must stop this vicious anti-Asian xenophobia immediately. But how?
In his address to the nation last week, President Joe Biden urged for an end to the violence against Asians. "They're forced to live in fear for their lives just walking down streets in America. It's wrong, it's un-American, and it must stop."
Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League, said "violence towards any minority group is not the answer. The anxiety and fear in the Asian American community is palpable."
Well, it's time to call for some concrete and solid collective actions from the legislative, judicial and executive branches. Only through severe punishment and iron-fist law enforcement, can the most venomous and cruelest attacks against Asians be terminated.