How to Stop Anti-Asian American Hate Crimes

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asian grandparents talk to grandchildren curbside

The 1,900% rise in anti-Asian American hate crimes now has a narrative on national mainstream media, which of course comes as a shock. But do you know who’s probably not surprised, yet aren’t really saying it? The small cadre of Asian American activists who have been battling against our own communities for support since the 1960s civil rights era. It’s time. It’s time now for Asian Americans to rush to support our generation’s Martin Luther King, Ella Baker, Rosa Parks and Malcolm X.

Yuri Kochiyama, American Civil Rights Leader

These brave leaders and foot soldiers of the Asian American community have always had to fight a quiet three-front war. One, fighting against anti-Asian racism head-on. Two, pushing for a seat at the table in the house of liberals. Three, trying to drag along the rest of the Asian American community who want nothing to do with activism.

Asian American activists often had to grin and bear it as other Asian Americans called us reckless as they turned the other way to ‘assimilate’. Wouldn’t it be warmer and safer to ‘blend into American’ culture? Translation: become accepted and even included with whites?

Assimilation: A Fool’s Choice

Now it should be clear who really made the fool’s choice. The multi-generational Asian American decision to choose assimilation as the survival instinct in America had one fatal flaw. It came without power.

We became the eager lawn mowers of white people in the hopes of getting invited to move into the guest house. All the while, our own gardens shriveled and were left fallow. (Gardens, Lawns = Power).

To fertilize our own gardens (power) again, Asian Americans need to stop lusting after the guest house (proximity to power). It comes at the courtesy of a whimsical landlord. Your name is never on the deed. Moreover, other minorities see us as co-conspirators to white power. We even give them evidence of the fact when we follow the white man’s script against other minorities to feel more secure in occupying the guest house. Is it any wonder that not all the recent attackers were white?

The New ‘House Negro’?

And also consider this – who likes a guest that stays too long? Eventually, your gracious host (white elites) will see you as overextending your visit. They fear you may even be eyeing their main house. Plus, their poorer relations (regular white Trumpers) resent the hell out of you. If they can’t even stay in the guest house, how could an Asian live there?

Scene from ‘The Joy Luck Club’

Yes, we need immediate solutions to stop the brutal attacks on our community. But the source of this hatred is deep-rooted and can’t be changed overnight. It’s like a couch potato demanding the gym give him his due results in a week. The unpredictable nature of the attacks creates an even more daunting obstacle to an instant remedy. The damage is done well before we can even notice.

he who has the most laws on his side wins.

Yet, there’s hope for protection that can be implemented right away – if we get our gardens in line. It’s shocking how late Asian Americans discovered there’s a Home Depot for gardening tools. In a society governed by rule of law, he who has the most laws on his side wins. Actions must be defined legally, who gets to decide must also be defined, and the level of punishment must be defined.

Asian Americans have been operating in a grey zone of soft definitions and blue ribbon commissions to nowhere that aim to ‘study the issue’. It’s time for fertilizer. Lots of it. Even if it smells like shit. You really want to assimilate into whiteness? Then do what the whites do. Pass laws that protect them and harshly punish anyone who messes with you.

It’s time for fertilizer. Lots of it. Even if it smells like shit.

New Federal Legislation

We’re finally seeing action on passing a hate crime law on the federal level in Congress. Congresswoman Judy Chu has become the face of the new effort as chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. She is gorgeous. She’s stunning. And she connects on an empathetic level few politicians can reach. But can she show that she’s a bull dog for Asian Americans or is she a little terrier in Nancy Pelosi’s purse?

Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, center, is joined by, from left, House Democratic Caucus Chair Hakeem Jeffries, D-N.Y., House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md., and Rep. Karen Bass, D-Calif., chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, as they speak to reporters about the 2020 Census on Capitol Hill in Washington, Thursday, March 5, 2020. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

Chu wants to ‘put teeth’ into the federal standard for hate crime reporting and tracking. But what about also making the data actionable and punitive? Otherwise, reports drift into piles to die. More importantly, Asian Americans, she needs our support and encouragement. We must find more ways to grow political capital in our gardens and send her some to use in the DC swamp.

Grow Your Garden

So if the recent spate of attacks comes as a surprise, you’re not alone. Too many Asian Americans are clueless about the racial game of thrones around them. But now it’s time to wake up and pitch in where you can. Build a nice garden for your family outside. Because now the lives of grandma and grandpa depend on it.

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