end systemic racism

Columnist Matthew Johnson condemns the attacks and racism toward Asian Americans. 

The recent uptick of attacks toward Asian Americans have many wondering what can be done to prevent this in the future. These attacks are becoming a disturbing norm in the U.S. The shootings in Atlanta were a deliberate attack on Asian Americans, and now, we are having random attacks against Asians on the streets everywhere.

A 65-year-old Asian woman was brutally attacked March 22 in New York City.  The attack took place outside the lobby of an apartment building in Manhattan. The people inside the lobby quickly closed the doors and watched as a man stomped on the women’s head repeatedly and shouted racial slurs. One of the slurs the man allegedly said was “F*** you, you don’t belong here.”

After the attack, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio came out with a statement. He said the attack was “absolutely disgusting and outrageous.” He then proceeded to tell New Yorkers to be vigilant and help stop Asian hate. While he is definitely correct in saying this, it seems that it’s time to do more than sending out vanilla statements. It’s time we think about what can be done to prevent this from happening in the future.

The past administration is partially to blame for this behavior. Donald Trump repeatedly blamed China for COVID-19 pandemic, labeling it “the China virus”.  It’s almost as if Trump was attempting to deflect his own massive failure in handling the pandemic. This type of racist rhetoric encourages racists to mobilize and carry out these attacks. It’s time we ditch this racist attitude because, in all reality, the virus could have come from anywhere. China is not the only country of origin for viruses. At this point, there isn’t anything we can do to reverse the horrible effects of the pandemic. However, there is something Americans can do to stop hatred of Asian Americans.

One way we could try and curve this violence toward minoritized Americans is to offer sensitivity courses in high school. It would be a good way to teach people at a young age that diversity is a good thing and not something to be hostile toward one another about. Another way we can help stop this senseless violence is to hold each other accountable. If you see something, say something. Don’t be a bystander.

Asian Americans deserve to go out in public without having to fear for their well-being. The uptick in hate crimes toward Asian Americans lately is unacceptable (to say the least). It’s time our lawmakers do their jobs and step in in order to solve this ever-growing issue. Thoughts and prayers aren’t going to fix this issue.

Action will.

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Columnist Matthew Johnson is a junior in political science. 

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