By Hailey Terracino
SGA’s Diversity Committee held a Student Open Forum called #STOPASIANHATE to discuss the rise in recent Anti-Asian hate crimes and allow a safe place for people to share their own emotions and experiences.
The forum discussed how elderly Asians are being targeted for these hate crimes and that because of their age, they have been seen as weak and an easy target. It was also brought up that it is going to be harder for these individuals to report these hate crimes because of the language barrier, not enough resources for the elderly, immigration status, or feeling like it’s the price they have to pay.
“I feel like with a lot of older immigrants, there is this ideology that they should have to take whatever hate comes toward them because they came to America, and they wanted this opportunity,” said Yusra Subhani, a forum attendee.
The forum also discussed the recent shooting in Atlanta that killed eight people, six of whom were Asian women. Professor of History and Geography Kil J. Yi gave a presentation of the history of dehumanization and fetishization of Asian women and how this could have been a key role in the shooting and other Asian hate crimes.
Also discussed was the lack of career opportunities, difficult living conditions of Asian immigrants, and how creating educational opportunities for first-generation immigrants in the U.S. can alleviate these barriers and challenges for Asian immigrants and all immigrants alike.
“My mother had a career as a teacher and she is a college graduate. When she arrived here, she could not find opportunities related to her job,” said forum attendee Ha Kyoung Kim. “She instead had to work in direct labor because those types of jobs were the only ones offered to her. She could not really use her experience and her education.”
Also brought up in this forum was creating more anti-hate initiatives within our schools and having a more diverse curriculum that included teaching more Asian history.
The event was held by student hosts Cassie Lacsina Guinto, Justin Diaz, Vanessa Tousignant, and Saleha Masood, along with collaborators from many clubs and organizations, including the Asian Heritage Month Committee representative Mi Ahn, Personal Counselor Jessica Peacock, PTK representative Genesis Capellan, and JKW School of Honors’ Hamza Chah.