First published in the Sept. 18 print issue of the Burbank Leader.
Some of us have really vivid memories from our kindergarten days.
Alicia Cho, a 17-year-old senior at Burbank High School does and, unfortunately, it is not a good one.
“My first racist encounter happened when I went shopping at the Grove in Los Angeles with my mom,” Cho recalls. “We were getting things for my first day of kindergarten and while we were walking around, two men approached us, stretched back their eyes and began making karate poses.”
Cho also remembers the men using racial slurs, mimicking an Asian dialect and laughing.
“I was confused. I really didn’t comprehend what they were doing or why, but what I did understand was my mother’s hurtful and scared reaction,” Cho said. Continue reading “Stringing Together Love in Spite of Anti-Asian Hate”
Joann Lo admitted that, in recent weeks especially, she’d found a silver lining to the coronavirus pandemic. Perhaps it was more of an ironic silver lining though, for when asked about how the steady stream of news reports about Asian American and Pacific Islander residents being targeted by harassment or violence was impacting her family, Lo found a bit of comfort in the need to stay at home and minimize trips out into the public. “In a way, it’s kind of a relief,” the Glendale mother said in a recent interview, “because we’re not out there in spaces to be subject to these comments or attacks.”
In late January, a Thai man in his 80s was taking a walk in San Francisco when he was violently shoved to the ground. He died days later.
On Feb. 20, a person walking in Burbank told Los Angeles County’s “L.A. vs. Hate” report line that someone driving past had yelled, “You … Asian people spread the virus.”
And on March 16, law enforcement said a 21-year-old man shot and killed eight people, six of whom were Asian women, and injured one other at three Atlanta-area businesses.
Some residents of Burbank, where about 12.1% of the city identifies as Asian, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 estimate, have echoed the national sense of anxiety and mourning over the shooting. But there has been plenty to fear and mourn in the past year amid an escalating number of reported harassment, attacks and discrimination against those in the Asian American and Pacific Islander, or AAPI, community. Continue reading “Rise in Anti-Asian Hate Incidents Sparks Grief, Worry”