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Stand up for AAPI residents

VICKI FONG

State College

Our communities must condemn anti-Asian hate incidents, rhetoric and violence. The Atlanta murders have shocked our nation. We can no longer stand silent in face of growing racism and violence.

I remember well the national action after the 1982 murder of Chinese American Vincent Chin by two white auto workers upset over Japanese cars. Hate incidents increased after the tragedies of 9/11 attacks and COVID pandemic.

My family and I experienced the bigotry of the Chinese Exclusion Act and subsequent prejudice in PA over our lifetimes.

Together, we must combat white supremacy, racism, sexism and homophobia.

There are too many jokes and complaints about Asian students, Asian restaurants, and constant jokes about DWO (Driving while Oriental). Such comments are not harmless. They demonize us and open the door for racist discrimination and treatment.

Nearly 10,000 Asian and Asian Pacific American residents live in Centre County, comprising 6 percent of total population. In Montour County, we make up nearly 5 percent.

We are teachers, restaurant workers, business owners, doctors, scientists, elected officials, writers, and artists. We need to hear support from public officials, law enforcement, and community partners. AAPI residents and business owners may not speak up in fear of violence.

State and US officials should pass anti-hate crime resolutions and bills, violence against women bills, and efforts to stem gun violence.

Let us fight back against those who would verbally or physically assault AAPI residents because such attacks harm all Americans.

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