On May 25th, 2020, an African American man named George Floyd was strangled to death by police during his arrest in Minnesota, the United States of America (USA). The incident ignited the “Black Lives Matter (BLM)” movement, a nonviolent civil disobedience movement against accidents caused by brutality of police and against all kinds of racially motivated violence towards black people. Thousands of people protested on the streets, and celebrities advertised the movement on their Social Networking Services (SNS), urging participation and attention. The BLM movement was a very significant movement that showed solidarity of those who oppose racism.
However, judging from racism towards Asians and people’s response about it, the “equality” that some opponents of racism call for does not seem to apply to everyone. On March 16th, a white man named Robert Aaron Long committed a mass shooting crime and killed eight people in Atlanta. There are voices that this case should be classified as an Asian hate crime, as it turned out that Long targeted only Asian-run establishments, and six out of eight victims were Asian women. Many people got angry with the incident and are doing “Stop Asian Hate” movement, which is meant to stop racism against Asians. However, interest in this issue is insignificant compared to the BLM movement. Investigation authority is hesitant to admit the relevance of racism by defining the Atlanta shootings as a crime committed by a man with sexual dissatisfaction. People who urged other’s interest and support during the BLM movement, are remaining silent as if racism towards Asians is not an important issue.
In fact, the human rights issue of Asians has always been marginalized. Racist words and actions against black people are censored countless times, but things that mock Asians, such as making slanted eyes, was accepted as a “joke.” Especially, since COVID-19 era, racism towards Asians has intensified and violence has occurred frequently because the origin of the disease is China. But no one has ever spoken out about the issue properly. This is because the problem of racism was applied only between black and white people, and Asians have always been out of the question. Therefore, I thought it is a miracle that the Atlanta incident publicized issue of racism towards Asians, although it is very ironic to call a small amount of attention compared to the BLM movement a “miracle.”
This does not mean that issues on human rights of other races are not important. I am just trying to say that it is very regretful that racism towards Asians is always treated as marginal topic. Also, I was very disappointed at those who cried out for the human rights of black people in the BLM movement remain silent in Stop Asian Hate movement. Can such selective equality really eradicate racism? I hope that those calling out for a resolution of racism will have a flexible attitude and look at the Atlanta shootings case and countless Asian hate crimes in an equivalent view, as all lives matter.
Kang Da-hyun firstname.lastname@example.org
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