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Asian American Hate, pt. 3: Another Problem

Asian American Hate, pt. 3: Another Problem By: Chandarith Moeun

Chandarith Moeun, a Cambodian American who grew up in Mexico, Maine and helped found the Mountain Valley High School Civil Rights Team, is an illustrator and voice actor. We've divided his narrative into five sections and we'll be sharing them daily for the next five days. We hope you'll join us as we listen to Chandarith speak his truth. And follow him on Twitter @chadouken and IG @chad0uken! Throughout this series, Chandarith has embedded links within the narrative to provide readers with more information. Please use them! Please note this piece contains triggering content, including racial violence and language. Scroll down to read pts. 1 and 2.

Illustration by Chandarith Moeun

A comment left on an article. There’s dozens like this.

In the sea of these discussions, I kept seeing a pattern of anti-Black comments that kept cropping up. It didn't surprise me, but it is a frequent problem in the Asian community. Whenever a video or a picture of an assailant comes out and they happen to be Black, hateful comments come out of the woodwork. There's comments leveled at BLM, or resentment about Asian attacks not being covered in the media as heavily as other POC. They usually try to defend their thinly (and sometimes not so thinly) veiled prejudice with "What would you do if it was YOUR family?"

These comments imply that there’s a narrative by the media that Black people won’t be held responsible if they commit a crime because of some imaginary special privilege.

These “discussions” usually don’t go anywhere productive. It usually just becomes Internet tough guy bravado. People make comments about bringing back ‘Rooftop Koreans,’ and say stuff like, ‘I’d rather be judged by 12 than carried by 6.” If you tell people that they should not espouse hateful views of black people, they call you a race traitor, or a ‘boba liberal.’

Caring about black causes doesn’t make us Anti-Asian, and we shouldn’t be comparing ourselves like this; it hurts both Asian and Black people and our causes.

I hate it. I absolutely hate it. It makes trying to talk about any meaningful solutions or making in-roads with other communities incredibly difficult because of how laser focused they are with their bigotry. When BIPOC activists call out these Asian people for their prejudice, they retaliate back, which leads to a back and forth between both sides. It becomes a frustrating game of "They-don't-care-about-us. This-is-now-an-Oppression-Olympics."

It’s so dumb. Like, I can’t dismiss all of the criticisms that people share because it’s more nuanced than that. There’s REAL pain and anxiety that Asian people feel over these attacks, and they do have legitimate grievances that haven’t been getting enough media coverage. I don’t want to diminish that. Anti-Asian hate is a big problem. It just becomes difficult to make allies when people are being prejudiced. Why would anyone care about our problems, when we haven’t done enough to understand theirs?

to be continued...

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