This weekend I was lucky enough to sit down with Atlanta based rapper Alan Z to talk about the struggles that Asian Americans face in today’s society.
Asian Americans have always faced a certain degree of ignorance and stupidity from the people around them. Generalized as “c****s” or “g***s”, Asian Americans have struggled to be accepted as true citizens of this county. A fact that Alan Z has rather intimate knowledge of. Throughout his life, Alan has been judged and assaulted simply for being Asian. Even now, people hide behind their computer screens and lash out at him just for being who he is.
Unfortunately, as the coronavirus pandemic worsens, so too do the insults and racism directed at Asian Americans. We’ve all seen the videos of Asian people being beaten (and in one case having acid poured on them) due to a misguided belief that they are at fault for this virus. Alan attributes this attitude to an alarming lack of compassion. He raised the point that Asian Americans are seen as perpetual foreigners and that really struck a chord for me. It’s sad to think that no matter what they do, many always view Asian Americans as ‘outsiders looking in’ and I think herein lies a lot of the problem.
It’s time we all stop thinking in an Us v. Them mentality. Stop making the hatred of Asian people a social media fad or viewing it as the popular thing to do. If you see something happening, don’t whip out your cellphone and start recording because hey cool I can post this online later and get tons of views. Step in and take a stand. It shouldn’t matter that this person has never done anything for you….have some human decency and stop something that isn’t right. In the absence of that, think of your own loved ones. Would you want someone physically attacking them because of an ignorant generalization?
Take a look at the rest of our interview below. I hope it’s as illuminating for all of you as it was for me and I hope that you all will do the right thing should you see something happening in front of you.