Why is it that when something happens to America, say, a terrorist attack like that of the Islamic group Al Qaeda in 9/11, the entire race or religion itself is judged as the culprit? What my heart hope is the day to come that each of us, not just the Americans, would learn to measure our judgement base on individual instances and not the general identity of who caused the event.
You could argue but the truth lay just before our eyes. Hate crimes exist. It’s real. Someone could be beaten up, harrassed or assaulted because of their ethnicity. It’s in the news, we have heard it from rumors in the neighborhood and perhaps, it is something that a fellow of yours has experienced. Evidences of racism against Asian-Americans continue to explode even in today’s generation where “unity” is a high advocacy for most nations.In the United States, stereotyping, unjustifiable anti-immigrant sentiments, racism and hatred are still faced by many Asian-Americans.
Asian Americans are limited or denied to certain state rights, imprisoned for unjustified reasons, attacked or worse, murdered – all of these just because they are not WHITE. Barack Obama, the recent president of the United States of America, acknowledged this. The president stated that for the last decade, South Asian Americans, specifically those Muslims, Hindu, or have a Sikh background often faced senseless suspicion and was attacked just because of the colors of their skin and their beliefs.
Countless of hate crimes were reported all over the country. According to a statistics released by The Leadership Conference 2.5% of the reported hate crimes were committed against Asian Pacific Americans.
July 2004, a Vietnamese student in South Boston was killed in a massive brawl between American and Vietnamese, which in a weird way reminds me of this post I made here about pokies. In 2009, four teens were charged after strangling a Chinese account executive in New York. The suspects admitted that they did the crime because of their hatred of the victim’s race. In 2013, a series of attacks targeting Asian-Americans happened in the Upper East Side and East Harlem New York. There are a whole lot of other reported assaults related to hate crimes to Asian Americans and many more that are undocumented.
In the theory that social scholars called “American exceptionalism”, it implies that the U.S is a qualitatively different nation, emphasizing its superiority among other. With what the country could provide for its own people, you can consider that such exceptionalism has its good bases.
But wait a second . . .
Is that American exceptionalism the reason why racial hate crimes happen? I bet it is. We could step back to as far as the past two World Wars where America had greatly help Asian countries to win over against its envaders. Yet, what had happened today? Prejudice and discrimination become things that Asian Americans are used to, as though it is something to consider as a part of how their world should revolve while they are in the United States.