BIPOC, AAPI, and Violent White Men

Members of an anti-Asian protest demonstrate in the streets after last week’s fatal shooting of 6 Asian individuals in Atlanta, GA. (Source: The New York Times)

Last week’s attack was yet another reminder of how racism continues to impact communities of color in America. We lost countless Black lives to racial violence last year, and now the same is unfortunately happening to Asian Americans across the country.

Despite these two communities being culturally different from each other, the one thing they share in common in this scenario is that they have been, and still are, targeted by the same culprit: violent white men.

And if you know your history, then you know this isn’t anything new. White imperialism has been responsible for the discrimination, oppression, and even sexualization of BIPOC and AAPI for centuries, and we’re still witnessing the repercussions of its existence to this very day.

Only this time, it lives on through those that are responsible for our financial security, that are sworn to protect and serve us, and that have control over our rights; all while exercising a sense of privilege that we do not, nor will ever, obtain.

And as emotionally difficult as it is to be reminded of all of this after an act of racial violence has just happened, it’s even more painful that it took place in the very city that I call home.

As a multiracial resident of Atlanta, I felt this pain when Ahmaud Arbery, a Black 25 year-old man, was murdered by a white father and son in Glynn County earlier last year. I felt this pain again when 8 people, 6 of them Asian and 7 of them women, were murdered just 20 minutes from my home by a white 21 year-old man last week.

Oppression in America is deep and complex, but one thing that we know for certain is that white men need to be held accountable for the very system that protects and encourages racist, sexist, and violent behavior.

Members of the BIPOC and AAPI community will continue to spread awareness, educate, and protest. However, the responsibility of bringing attention to these issues should not fall on the victims, but rather on those that benefit from this very system.

So if you’re a white man and you’re reading this, then I implore you to heed my advice and take action within yourself. Question how you’re currently benefiting from this system, unlearn your negative perceptions of other cultures, and research what you can do to help those that are being oppressed in this country.

And if you were offended by any of this, then ask yourself why before expressing your anger in the comments section. Because it’s that same anger that was responsible for the death of 8 innocent lives last week.

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