I am an Asian American child of immigrants. I am incredibly fortunate to have been born in the United States and more fortunate still to have been given the opportunities I’ve had. Loving my country also means holding it to the highest standards and ideals of equality. The recent surge in violence and hate against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community is a reminder that these ideals are not being met. I am shaken and saddened by this reminder.
There is a long history of anti-Asian discrimination in America. From labor exploitation of Chinese Americans in building the transcontinental railroad, to the racist immigration policies of the early 1900s, to the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II, to the vilification of Asians after the Vietnam War and again after 9/11, Asian Americans have had to struggle against discrimination at institutional and individual levels for over 150 years. Most recently, the increase in public anti-Asian rhetoric around COVID has served to normalize and amplify this discrimination.
Addressing the problem will require fully acknowledging this history of racism against Asian Americans so that its effects can be dismantled, as well as embracing the entire range of the Asian American experience today, so that the marginalized folks in the community can be recognized and supported. Investigative journalists and nonprofits can use Everlaw for free via our Everlaw for Good program, and we hope that by providing them the tools to illuminate these issues, we can be a small part of the solution.