After witnessing the recent attacks and harmful rhetoric against our community, I was reminded of what it meant to be an Asian-American in today’s society: invisible, dismissed, and unnoticed. Like other members of the Asian-American community, I was taught that our experiences did not matter – that we were side characters who were expected to keep our head down. 

However, it is long overdue for our stories, our struggles, and our pains to be recognized and heard.

After Donald Trump’s “Chinese Virus” tweet at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an alarming spike of violence and anti-Asian sentiment. The Atlanta spa shootings, destruction of Asian-American owned businesses, vicious assaults, and racial slurs across the country are few examples of this sudden escalation. Yet history has proven that these attitudes and attacks are not unfamiliar: we have always been the outsiders. The Yellow Peril, Chinese Exclusion Act, Japanese internment camps, model minority myth, and more demonstrate the longstanding legacy of pervasive racism and violence that has existed within our society for decades. 

Pro Bono Net continues to stand beside all of the individuals that have been greatly affected and hurt during this time. We mourn the lives of the eight victims who died during the Atlanta spa shoots, we send out condolences to the loved ones who survive them, and we stand together with all those who are targeted by racist rhetoric and violent attacks in our country.

Pro Bono Net is grateful to Jillian Jin, AmeriCorps Vista working with our Immigration Advocates Network program, for writing this important piece addressing the recent hate crimes committed against the Asian American community. You can read Jillian’s bio on our website, here.