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Violence Against Asian Americans

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October 20, 2021

By Jada Leng

When my colleagues asked me how I was doing following the attacks against Asian Americans, I pretended it was in reference to a particularly busy work period or to life in general during COVID.

“Oh I’m fine. Don’t worry about me.”

But things are not fine, and I am not fine. Eight people were murdered in the Atlanta area, six of them were Asian women. What was the motivation? Why were they killed? For being Asian, for being women, for being Asian women? I searched for the answers because I, too, am an Asian woman.

I haven’t wanted to talk about it, and I still don’t really want to talk about it. I know that if I acknowledge it, I have to go “there.” It’s not that I’m numb or in denial, I’m just not ready to share deeply personal experiences with anyone, not even with myself.

Congress held the first hearing on Asian American violence in decades on March 18 and when I heard Daniel Dae Kim testify and describe an experience he had with a pollster who told him Asian Americans were considered statistically insignificant, I was reminded of the five-part miniseries he narrated for PBS: Asian Americans

I opened the PBS app and started to stream. I felt like my family was talking to me and trading stories about their experiences. I was comforted, we are significant. It was the hug I needed.

If you, too, are hurting, needing comfort or are curious to learn, more videos similar to Asian Americans are available for streaming below or on the PBS Video app. Additionally, resources to learn how to fight violence against Asian Americans are available.

It's OK if you're not ready to talk yet either.

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