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Last week’s shootings in the Atlanta area, which killed eight people, six of whom were Asian women, have intensified calls to confront anti-Asian racism.
“The present hour feels like an awakening for the people of Asia and of Asian descent,” our contributing writer Alex Wagner observes. “It is impossible to ignore the cries for justice sweeping the globe.”
The “happy ending” jokes that followed the Atlanta shootings carried a dehumanizing logic. “Racism and sexism are partners that stoke each other with frightening ease,” Anne Anlin Cheng, a Princeton professor, points out. “Here’s the thing that many people find hard to accept: Hatred does not preclude desire.”
Calling the Atlanta shootings a hate crime isn’t nearly enough. “The public call for hate-crime prosecution would be better served by an understanding that such designations are often purely symbolic,” Saida Grundy, a Boston University professor, argues.
For some Asian parents, conversations about racism remain taboo. “Many immigrants such as my dad (and my mom, who has faced her fair share of racism) have built up a code of silence with their children to not discuss the daily indignities of being Asian American,” our former assistant editor Karen Yuan writes.