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Racism Directed at Asian North Americans

On Tuesday, March 16, the hate crime against Asian North Americans made the evening news as eight people, six of them Asian North American women, were murdered in three different locations in the Atlanta area. While the news saddened us, we were not surprised. As I am writing this on Wednesday evening, none of the news outlets have talked about the victims as individuals, but only the generalization of racial and gender identity as Asian American women. This reporting shows the systemic racism against Asian North Americans. If you remember any other mass shootings, especially white children, immediately the children’s names were revealed, and families’ sufferings were highlighted. Here, no personal stories of victims or the suffering of their families. The Asian North American community is seen only through the lens of racial immigration; they are forever seen as foreigners. It was not surprising to me that none of the reports said that eight “Americans” were murdered, or six “American women” were killed by a white deranged sex addict. News reports repeatedly only said six Asian American women. By reporting the assumed geographical heritage of these women, merely by their appearance, the white racist news media once again declared that those of western pacific origin does not belong in the U.S. In the Atlanta white terrorism, the murderer only saw the color of the women through the social lens of sexualizing Asian women. The murder did not see those whom he killed as people. He did not see that these women had mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, maybe even children. Still, he only saw them as “yellow perils,” those whom the rightwing conservatives blamed for the pandemic, economic difficulties, and social problems. Even the news reports only talked about the social problems in U.S. and pollical divisions, but not once did they go and talk about the pains of these families who lost their loved ones. It is as though Asian North Americans are not fully human and do not feel pain or, even worse, their pain is not as important as white America being upset about domestic white terrorism. Categorizing these murdered women only as “Asian American women” dehumanized them merely as victims and does not celebrate their individual lives. The pain of the Asian North American community on this day is magnified by the insensitivity and blatant racism of the media outlets. Pastor Sunny

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