Students’ Response to Anti-Asian Hate Crimes

What do Stuyvesant Students think of the rise in anti-Asian Hate Crimes?

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“I’m definitely more scared and cautious to go outside, though it won’t stop me from going out. I have a bit of anger, and just this idea of why: we literally did nothing wrong. The entire thing is stupid, but I do like how there is a lot of activism about it and lots of people are speaking out. People are being less quiet and it's very nice to see support.” —Pak Lau, senior

“There have been various differing opinions from the media, from my family, friends, and peers about the motivations behind the Atlanta shootings and responsible parties for increased anti-Asian hate crimes. Differing political narratives or attempts to rationalize recent events from any political party don't matter so much as the effect. From my experience, family members and friends have expressed that they simply feel unsafe and feel that no political party truly represents them and their needs without conflicts of interest. Many parents are worried about how they will send their kids back to school when reopenings occur. Many do not feel safe enough to gather with friends, go outside, use public transport, and be themselves.” —Michelle Zhang, junior

“As an Asian American woman, I feel that the Atlanta shooting definitely hits us differently. Those women look like me. They look like my mother, my aunts, [and] my grandmother. It just hurts knowing that one day, that could be me or someone I love. What angers me even further was that the police just dismissed it as him having a ‘bad day.’ No, it was a hate crime by a white terrorist. He wanted to eliminate his ‘sexual temptations,’ when in reality he just had yellow fever. He had racist fantasies of dominating Asian women and chose to act on them. The fetishization of Asian women and most POC women in general, has long been an issue that has yet to be properly addressed. When will people understand that my race is not just another porn category to fulfill your derogatory sexual desires?” —Ashley Tian, junior

“It's hard to hear about this negative media because it's a very sensitive topic. What's frustrating is that if it was a minority who committed these crimes they would be labeled as terrorists. Meanwhile, the person who committed this crime is not.” —Rafatune Myma, sophomore

“It’s really upsetting to see everything that’s been happening. I’ve had countless peers talk to me about how afraid they are to go outside, and it’s scary to think that it could easily be one of us, or our family members, that get assaulted next. It’s been really frustrating to see our current socio-political situation pit minorities against each other rather than empower us to stand up for one another and against the bigger issue: white supremacy.” —Anonymous, junior

“Seeing the rise in anti-Asian hate is frightening, but unfortunately it’s not surprising. Violence has become a norm in the United States. Along with the Atlanta shootings, many elderly Asians are being assaulted. I have grandparents at home and it scares me if anything were to happen to them.” —Iris Lin, freshman

“I’m pretty surprised about the shootings and rise in Asian hate crime. And it has affected my community because now I get to talk about it with my friends. Before, we never really talked about world issues, but now we always share news with each other and keep each other up to date. And my family and I also watch the news just to see what’s going on in the world.” —Shafiul Haque, sophomore

“I will say that Asian hate does have a significant impact on us. I’ve talked to my friends about this and they’re very bothered about it and I am too, because while I haven’t personally experienced a lot of it, the fear that it could happen is so much more in my face. This is actually something that is really a problem; it’s so much more prevalent now [...] The way that the coronavirus was talked about by the people in power definitely had an influence on other people and the way that many communities perceived Asians. As a whole, it’s just how it’s been for a while; it just hasn’t been as recognized. And [given] how a lot of people say Asians are the model minority, people don’t really care in the end because it’s just not seen as a real problem. While the recent incidents and the rise [in anti-Asian hate] has been very problematic, I do think that it’s important because it’s brought so much more awareness to the whole situation, and people have started to care so much more about it.” —Julia Lee, sophomore

“The Atlanta Spa shooting is horrifying and what is perhaps scarier is that the act of sheer terrorism is not even confirmed as a hate crime. The rise in Asian American hate crimes is truly horrifying and unjust. Even in the most diverse city in the world, New York, there are still Asian American hate crimes. Many of my East Asian friends are afraid of going out now and overall my community has become more tense and afraid as I live in an almost entirely Asian community. I truly hope Asian American hate crimes end in the near future, as it is not right for Asian Americans to be treated inhumanely.” —Rayyan Bhuiyan, junior

“I remember when I was younger, people would say all these stereotypical jokes: ‘you eat dogs, since you’re Chinese.’ And I would say, ‘No, I'm not Chinese.’ That would be my go to response, and I feel like that is for a lot of Asians. But we fail to realize that they don't care. If we’re all Asian, then they’re just going to keep saying the same jokes, the overused stereotypes, and even violence as we see now. So what we need to do as a collective community is to stand up as one solid movement of Asians, together, to fight against racial injustice, instead of bickering amongst each other [and] amongst ourselves. That’s the main goal of what we should do, [as well as making] our voices heard. It’s what we've been avoiding for the past years. Going back to before, when I was a kid, you would try to fit in with all these dumb jokes, think they're funny, and go along with them. But I realize that's not a good thing to do. That just feeds into these racist jokes, [which] help feed into even more violence.” —Jinseo Hong, sophomore