Opinion: The Stop Asian Hate movement isn’t just a trend


Credit: Genevieve Morrison

WSPN’s Selena Liu discusses the issues surrounding the Stop Asian Hate movement slowing down.

Selena Liu

To protest the racist acts that the Asian-American community faced following the outbreak of COVID-19, activists created the Stop Asian Hate movement. The first case of COVID-19 was discovered in Wuhan, China in early 2019, as rumors swirled that the infectious disease was caused by the Chinese people eating dirty animals, specifically bats. These negative stereotypes quickly led to hatred and discrimination toward East Asian people.

As schools, businesses and shops closed down, and thousands of new cases emerged each day, panic gripped America. Citizens turned to their leaders who, wanting to shift the blame off of themselves, blamed it on China and spread extremely racist connotations for Asians living in America. However, the spread of the virus was mostly due to the lack of regulations in controlling the pandemic.

Many social media platforms plastered “Stop Asian Hate” hashtags and posters on their front page. A few mainstream celebrities gave their opinions and dozens of articles were published on the topic. For me, it was comforting to open TikTok and see the hashtag trending. But then, it all slowed. As a Chinese-American, it seemed that protesting the racism against us had only been a trend that passed over in a matter of weeks. This made me angry because it perpetuates the false notion that all the racism was gone, when in reality, it is quite the opposite. For me, when I hear less news, I assume that the issue is no longer relevant. This is true for many others.

Last week, three men were charged in a hate crime spree. This is rare, since perpetrators of such hate-crime attacks aren’t usually charged. A number of factors contribute to this. For one, the definition of hate isn’t clearly defined and a lot of the time, law enforcement doesn’t prioritize these cases. Many Asian-American victims may be frightened by language barriers or fear revenge from the perpetrators. Some simply do not want to create a scene. This makes sense since, statistically, many of the targets are elderly people, who are often seen as easy prey.

Additionally, some people, including other Asians, ignorantly claim that there isn’t such a thing as Asian hate. If the issue isn’t even recognized, then much less attention and resources will be allocated to it. It is heartbreaking to hear that other Asians don’t even support the issue. If we don’t speak up for ourselves, then no one else will.

Our new generation, armed with fluency in the English language, education and more opportunities that our immigrant parents did not have, need to use our resources to bring awareness to the issue. Reposting something on social media, going to a few protests and saying things aren’t enough. We need to keep it alive, making sure that this movement isn’t a trend that will die out soon. We need to see it through to the end.