Tell Congress to stop driving hate on China and Asian Americans.
Did you know that my name means “rain” in Chinese? My name connects me to my heritage and a land thousands of miles away. I take pride in that, but less so in 2020 after seeing the rampant anti-Asian hate during the Covid-19 pandemic. Every time I went outside, I made sure to don a jersey of my local sports team, hoping the giant letters of “GO DOLPHINS” would distract people so that I would not become the target of the next racist attack.
The AAPI community has faced discrimination in the U.S. ever since they first moved across the ocean in hope of building better lives. In the 1850s, many Chinese migrated to the U.S. and took up jobs as miners and railroad workers. At the same time, anti-Chinese sentiment grew. In 1871, one of the worst lynchings in the U.S. history took place in Los Angeles, when a mob of 500 people killed 18 Chinese residents. Only 8 were convicted of manslaughter, and the charges were later overturned. In 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act was signed into law, the only U.S. immigration law that aimed to exclude one ethnic group. The law limited more Chinese from migrating and barred those who already lived in the U.S. from naturalization. The restrictions on Chinese immigrants only ended during World War II, when the U.S. deemed another group, the Japanese Americans, as the enemy.
Today, as the U.S. drives hate towards China, Chinese Americans and broadly the AAPI community bear the brunt of the attack. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rampant anti-China rhetoric, the Stop AAPI Hate database has recorded over 11,000 hate incidents. One in five involves scapegoating language, including blaming the AAPI community for COVID-19, espionage, and economic insecurity.
As we see in history, the wellbeing of the AAPI community is connected with countries on the other side of the ocean in war time and peace time. The U.S.-driven war on China is already hurting the AAPI community and claiming its first victims. A jersey cannot actually protect me or the AAPI community. However, together as peacemakers, we can stop the hate, stop the racism, and stop the war!
Onward to peace,
Wei, Jodie, and the entire CODEPINK Team
- Watch CODEPINK webinar: US Foreign Policy Towards China and Its Impact on Racism Against Asians Nationally and in Boston
- Office of the Historian: Chinese Immigration and the Chinese Exclusion Acts
- Global Times: Protest staged in Taiwan against Tsai's contact with US politician
- Los Angeles Public Library: Forgotten Los Angeles History: The Chinese Massacre of 1871