It’s been very apparent for awhile now that racism and xenophobia against Asians are on the rise after this pandemic blew up. You see and hear stories of Asian Americans and Asians around the world getting harassed by non-Asians. Some are even being physically harassed like the two Asian girls in an Australian subway. When I watched the video, I was livid and my blood was boiling. If I was in that Asian girl’s shoe, I would’ve punched her smack dab in the face and knock her out cold. I’m not saying violence is the answer to everything but in these situations, it’s necessary for you to use force to protect yourself. Not only was I upset that the poor girl was being attacked, I was honestly dumbfounded why the girl didn’t fight back. She just continued to get beaten up and that made me unbelievably upset.
A lot of people, Asians included sadly, take advantage of Asians because they have a notion that we are timid and shy people. They think that we won’t say anything and quietly endure the teasing and the harassment. As much as I hate to say this but they’re right. Not fully but partially. A lot of Asians are shy and timid because that’s what they were taught by their parents. Most of our parents come from countries where individualism isn’t encouraged. My parents came from Korea and in Korean culture, it’s rude to speak up and be confrontational. Even if they feel wronged, it’s encouraged to keep it to themselves and hide their true feelings. I experienced this firsthand when I was working for a Korean company.
My coworker was an intern from Korea and she was one of the hardest working person I know. A lot of people took advantage of my friend asking for ridiculous requests and last minute work but yet she didn’t say anything. Sometimes, she was wrongly criticized for not finishing other people’s requests even though she was working hard on the other requests. People basically abused her and it made me so upset that she was getting treated so unfairly. No matter how much I told her to speak up, she just accepted their work and the criticism even though she was boiling inside. So much stress built up inside her to the point where she lost a huge portion of her hair and she developed a bald spot half the size of my fist. That’s how working culture is like in Korea and not only Korea but in America too.
Not only do I see this timidness in Asians in real life but also in movies. Hollywood is making it worse by spoon feeding people that Asians are timid. For years, Asians were portrayed as the nerd, the loser, the one who doesn’t speak up. People are getting the wrong idea and learning from movies that that’s how all Asian person are. And that’s not fair and honestly, it’s racist. It’s blatant discrimination. I’m not a nerd who’s always smart and knows everything. It made me so annoyed when people think all Asians are good at math. Well NEWSFLASH we’re not. I sucked at math and got a 2 in my AP Statistics test lol. I’m not a loser who is always in the corner by herself. I love being alone sometimes but that definitely does not mean I’m a loser. And most importantly, I am not a person who doesn’t speak up. When I get wronged by someone, I will speak my mind and I don’t hold back.
These are only the few of the many factors why people see us as a race that they could take advantage of. And I just want to beg to my fellow Asians that it’s time to fight back. Even before this pandemic happened, there were racist attacks against Asians whether it’d be people saying “Ching Chong” or making their eyes slanted. We need to fight back or else people will continue to use us as a punching bag whether it’d be physically or emotionally. We don’t deserve all this hate and negativity from people who are ignorant. If you see your fellow Asian brother or sister getting harassed, help them. Don’t just stand there like the person who recorded the Australian racist attack. You just being a bystander is only feeding into the notion that Asian people are timid.
And to our non-Asian friends, if you see an Asian getting wronged please help them. We are all going through this pandemic together. It’s not just you who’s getting affected and is suffering. Everyone in the whole world is suffering. Please help us fight against ignorance and racism together.