On Jan. 28, an elderly Thai-American man, Vicha Ratanapakdee, was assaulted in San Francisco and later died from his injuries. Two were arrested in connection with the incident; one of them was charged with murder.
On Jan. 31, an elderly man was attacked in Chinatown, Oakland, in an incident that is widely believed to be motivated by racism. A suspect has been arrested and charged.
In February, racist graffiti was found near a Chinese American school in San Francisco.
An Asian woman walking in Brentwood was racially harassed by a man. The man was later fired from his job as a real estate agent.
On Chinese New Year, an Asian-owned preschool in Alhambra was found vandalized with feces and an insulting message.
On Feb. 15, an elderly Filipino woman was attacked on a San Diego trolley.
In Ladera Ranch, several teenagers harassed an Asian American family by repeatedly pounding on their front door at night then running away, leaving a pornographic print in front of their home, yelling racial slurs and throwing rocks at the home.
In February, a Korean American Air Force veteran was attacked in Koreatown, Los Angeles. The veteran says he was called "Chinese virus" and "Ching chong."
On Feb. 22, a man drove to a Chinese American butcher shop in Sacramento and left a box containing a mutilated cat in the parking lot.
On Feb. 23, a man from Berkeley was arrested for making threats to kill Asians on social media.
On Feb. 27, a Japanese Buddhist temple in Los Angeles was vandalized and the property was set on fire. This follows past security breaches and assaults on security personnel in the prior two weeks.
On March 7, an Asian American Uber driver in San Francisco was assaulted by his passengers after he asked them to wear masks. The passengers made statements appearing to make fun of the driver's race. The passengers were later banned from Uber and Lyft.
On March 8, a woman was arraigned for spitting on an Asian American stranger having lunch in Mountain View.
On March 9, a 75-year-old man was assaulted in Oakland and later died from his injuries. A man was arrested, who police say had a history of targeting elderly Asian Americans.
And most recently in Georgia:
On March 16, a man carried out a mass shooting at three Asian massage parlors, leaving eight dead — six of whom were Asian women.
Look at it. Look at it and tell me that racism against Asian Americans, xenophobia against Chinese people, only exists within my mind.
It seems like almost every day this year, I've grieved for those the Asian community has lost due to ignorant people with racist ideals. I am tired of fearing for our safety when my family leaves the house, even knowing that Palo Alto is a better community than most. In 2021 alone (a little more than three months' worth of time), there have been too many attacks against Asian Americans in the Bay Area and California, and I wonder when I will be able to let out a small breath of relief. But I see no respite in sight.
Too often, people view discrimination against Asians as new, as something that only appears in issues like the bamboo ceiling or affirmative action. It is not new. Asians have been in America in large numbers since the Gold Rush era in the 1850s, and one of the only immigration bans on the basis of nationality was the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Portrayed as the "yellow peril" and refused employment by American business owners, Asian citizens were forced into ethnic enclaves, and the only jobs they had access to consisted of railroad building or managing laundromats.
We are not foreign to America or its racism, and it's time people start recognizing that racism against Asians in this country runs painfully deep.
In light of recent events, I am scared, angry and disappointed. I'm scared to take walks in my neighborhood, to embrace my culture, to eat Chinese food in fear of being ridiculed. I'm angry because when I attempted to speak about this issue almost a year ago, people acted as if I had imagined the racism against Asians, as if I was complaining about an issue that didn't exist.
And I am disappointed in the way people have responded to such news, the way people still assert that Asian Americans don't experience racism. I find myself disappointed over and over again.
Perhaps you may think that I dislike America, for pointing out places in our history where we have not been so great. But you can love a country while admitting its faults. You can love a country by wanting it to be better. And I want America and its people to be better, to stop letting hatred guide its actions.
I'm done being silent, and I'm done listening to people who play devil's advocate for murderers.