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Speech against Anti-Asian Racism

已有 483 次阅读2021-3-24 09:35 |个人分类:美国华人|系统分类:转帖-时事政治经济

Speech against Anti-Asian Racism
3-21-2021 Cincinnati Rally , 5:30pm 

My name is Hongmei Li. I come here today as a community member, a media scholar, and a mother of two young children to mourn the eight victims who were senselessly killed at the three Atlanta shootings. Seven of these victims are women and six of them are Asian women. They were mothers, sisters, daughters and wives. Only broken families are left behind. 
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Words cannot express the pain and fear that the Asian community is experiencing now. The AAPI Stop Hate has documented more than 3800 attacks on Asian Americans since last year. Among them, the most vulnerable -- children, women, and the elderly -- are more likely to be assaulted. Silence can lead to more death and more violence. As a community, we cannot be silent any more. 
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I have lived in the U.S. for more than 20 years and I am a naturalized U.S. citizen. Over the years, I have met numerous generous Americans who are ready to offer their helping hands whenever needed, such as a young white police officer helping us change broken tires at a parking lot off the California freeway, ordinary Americans offering me drives during snowy days, my professors going out of their way to offer endless support, an African American mother buying my kid lunch during a chess tournament, my neighbors giving my kids rides to events, air travelers helping get my luggage down from cabins without being asked, and my colleagues providing selfless support in workplaces. But on the other hand, I have also encountered people who are biased, racist, and xenophobic and who blame others for their own problems. I lived in Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Atlanta before moving to Cincinnati. I was asked by an Asian-looking stranger to “go back to China” in California. I was yelled at by a female black driver in Philadelphia. I experienced workplace racism in Atlanta. Just last October, a white male truck driver cursed me at a stop sign when I was driving in downtown Mason, Ohio. Kindness comes in different shapes and forms and so racism and bigotry.

My younger child was mocked for having “slanted Asian eyes.” My older child was bullied in schools in Atlanta. During the pandemic, I am always fearful that my two school-age children may encounter more racism. When they go out for a bike ride, I constantly check to make sure they are ok. I become highly vigilant of my own environment. I am especially worried that the attacks on the Asian American community could become worse as children go back to school in person and as we go back to work in person. 

AntiH2.jpg-Asian racism is not new. When the Chinese first came to the U.S. in the mid-19th century, Asian workers experienced systemic racism that was later encoded in the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act.  Later, the Chinese Exclusion Act was applied to other Asian groups, barring them from entering the United States and from becoming citizens if they were already here. Racists on this land murdered numerous Asians without any consequence. The judicial system did not come to defend us. When the Transcontinental Railroad was constructed in the late 19th century, about 20,000 Chinese workers toiled through back-breaking labor during frigid winters and blazing summers. Hundreds died from explosions, landslides, accidents and disease. But American history books have largely ignored their contribution. From 1942 to 1945, about 117,000 Japanese were sent to internment camps and the majority of them were American citizens. During the cold war era, Asian scientists were prosecuted because they were painted as communists. In 1982, Vincent Chin, an innocent 27-year-old Chinese American was mercilessly beaten to death by two laid-off white auto workers in Detroit who mistook him for Japanese on the night of his bachelor’s party before his wedding. These two murderers were only ordered to pay $3,000 in fine and serve three years' probation with no jail time. Judge Charles Kaufman said, "These weren't the kind of men you send to jail... You don't make the punishment fit the crime; you make the punishment fit the criminal." A retrial was moved to Cincinnati Ohio and the jury cleared these two father-and-son murderers of all charges in 1987. 

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, Trump and his followers used racist terms such as the “Chinese virus”, and “Kung flu” to label the public health crisis, despite the fact that WHO forbids the association of any disease with a place or an ethnic group. Asian people who have no connection with China have been attacked for their skin color. It is wrong for any politicians or any people to use such xenophobic and racist language to dehumanize us. Words matter. Words can kill. Racism kills.

After eight people were ruthlessly killed in Atlanta, police officer Jay Baker tried to humanize the killer, saying that he simply had “a bad day.” 

Asian Americans are often invisible on the racial map. But our suffering is real. Today, we gather here to condemn anti-Asian racism and call for solidarity. We call for solidarity within the Asian American community (Chinese, Indians, Filipino, Vietnamese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, and all Asian people) to be united and support each other. We call for solidarity between the Asian community, the African American community, the Hispanic community, the Jewish community, the LGBTQ community, the Native American community, the Caucasian community, and any community that supports social justice and equality to work together for social change.  We demand that the police officer Jay Baker be fired immediately. We demand that justice be served for the trial of the Atlanta killings. We demand for systemic judicial and police reforms that root out racism in this country.  We demand that history of Asian Americans be taught to children from K to 12. Only when we work together and treat each other as fellow human beings, can we move forward and create a society that is just, equal and free for all. Thank you. 
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路过

鸡蛋

鲜花

支持

雷人

难过

搞笑
 

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