Monday, March 22, 2021

After Atlanta shootings, children of Asian immigrants speak up for those who no longer can

The nation continues to reel from the horrible killings, with the victims including Asian immigrant women, last week in Atlanta.  The killings have sparked rallies across the country protesting anti-Asian American violence.  Ming Chen has blogged about the tragedy.

Jane Mo is a USA TODAY video producer in Atlanta and has been reporting on the reaction in Atlanta's Asian American community. She is of Korean descent, and her parents own a small perfume business about 20 minutes from where one of the attacks happened.  Here is part of her powerful commentary in USA Today on the killings in Atlanta:

"We will not appease nor dismiss the well-camouflaged racism and xenophobia finally spewing out to the top. My generation and the generations after me will unlearn teachings of silence and accommodation our parents had to pick up to survive here. We refuse to fit into the deceivingly adorned yet inhumane mold of a model minority and a fetishized object.

We will speak up for those who no longer can. On Tuesday, six Asian women were violently murdered in Georgia. You may have seen a number, but we saw our moms, our grandmas and our friends in those names.

While the world argued away at the murderer’s exact motivation, we saw the way it broke our community. While newsrooms and courtrooms tried to define a hate crime, we saw security and safety being ripped away from our families.

While you fought and debated, we wept.

His name, his story and his intentions are plastered everywhere but what the world didn’t see is the panicked phone calls we made to our parents. Our blank stares trying to fight back tears at work and school the next day.

What you didn’t hear is the deep grieving and anger we aren’t used to expressing outwardly. Our words fumbling with long pauses in between because we’re learning what it means to finally take up space and be comfortable with it.

We’re resilient. We’re children of immigrants."


And we won’t be silent anymore.

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