by Anna Schmader, Sydnee Reddy & Mark Findley
Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) have been specifically stereotyped and targeted for abuse since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though awareness of hate crimes against the AAPI community has increased, an open threat against them remains in place.
This year on March 26, 2021, eight women were fatally shot and killed in an anti-Asian hate crime in Atlanta, Ga. While this incident sparked intense media coverage of crimes against the AAPI community, the fact remains that bias and violence like this has been happening for centuries. Recall the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 suspending Chinese immigration for 10 years and declared Chinese immigrants ineligible for naturalization. Also, consider the model minority myth based on Asian stereotypes. These examples illustrate just a few of the ways those in the AAPI community have been criticized and taunted by people who may not understand the depth of their inappropriateness.
Sophia Jang is a sophomore student majoring in Graphic Design at Cabrini University. She loves to go into the city and walk around, but after seeing the uptick in anti-Asian sentiment, she has grown cautious and concerned about taking that adventure. Jang is educated and informed about the model minority myth after living in predominantly white neighborhoods. She understands how she gets looked at when walking to and from different places. Ting Ting, co-Founder of Asian Advocates, knows the reality that Jang is experiencing. Ting is a young activist who is spreading awareness of hate crimes against the AAPI community. She recently attended a protest against Asian hate crimes in Maryland and speaks openly about her mindset to educate others.