Attacks on Asian-Americans are on the rise. Among the targets are elders in the community. It’s happening across the country, and locally as well.
King County prosecutors have already filed five hate crime charges so far this year —two of them were targeted against Asian-Americans.
(See the KIRO 7 story here.)
On Jan. 25, one woman in Seattle was pushed while in a crosswalk at East Denny Way and Bellevue. According to court documents, a person said to her, “Asian people need to be put in their place.”
Another incident was in West Seattle on Jan. 26, where a man pointed a realistic-looking airsoft gun at an Asian woman and yelled, “Go back to your country.”
Locally, my 83-year-old mother-in-law was also told to “Go back to your country” while walking on the street in Edmonds. She retired from the Seattle School District, has lived in the Seattle area for the past 50 years of her life, including the most recent 15 years in Edmonds. She answered with smile on her face: “The United States is my country; this is my home”.
While I believe most Edmonds citizens are tolerant and inclusive, all instances of hate crimes have to stop, including ongoing anti-Asian hate crimes fueled by anti-Asian rhetoric about the pandemic. Back in March of 2020, I posted an article on My Edmonds News to point out that the proper name for this virus is COVID-19, and not China virus or Chinese Flu or Kung Flu. Words matter, and leaders at the national or local level using words suggesting certain ethnicities are at fault for the current pandemic encourages racist behavior. We need to resist those suggestions and work even harder toward tolerance and respect.
Now, I am submitting this article to MEN to call for unity and to encourage our community to stop all hate crimes against all ethnicities. We must unite ourselves and remember most of us are immigrants or descendants of immigrants. We are here because of the freedom and opportunities that this land promised and continues to promise. We must unite and work together to protect that promise, embrace equity in words and in action, and focus our energy in building communities and relationships. As Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.” Each one of us can be a light for our community and be the salt to melt away hate!