A Time to Stand Together for Asian Americans
Updated: Feb 23
At 2 in the morning on Saturday, March 27, I sat at the dining table with my mom, craft supplies scattered all around us.
An anti-hate rally was scheduled for later in the morning and we still had dozens of signs left to make. Besides the scratch of permanent markers on cardboard, we worked in silence. I watched her tired but determined face as she finished one poster and pulled out another, printing clearly a message in dark blue sharpie.
“We Are Not Your Model Minority,” the message read.
The past few weeks have been a painful time for the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. For hundreds of years, we have seen our stories cast aside, with the discrimination against us disregarded and our voices as a political constituency ignored.
However, the recent rise in visible hate incidents against us and attention brought to them by the media, while saddening, has served as a rallying point for our diverse and often infighting community.
And when we are united, real and lasting change is possible: in shifting the perception of our community in the media, in changing public policy and in supporting and understanding our own community.
I never expected there would be a day like this. Just a few months ago, during the rallies and protests for Black Lives Matter, it wouldn’t have been out of the ordinary for me to hear Asian American adults and some peers assert that racism doesn’t have any effect in modern American society. Or, they would say to ignore it, considering our Asian American community too different from the Black community to relate to their demands for change.
It’s a proud and individualistic sentiment — if law-abiding Asian Americans could toil and climb to success in American society, then other races should be able to as well, an uncle would say, watching news channels broadcast the lootings and riots of June 2020.
“Protest is for those