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Asian alaskans grapple with anti-asian racism, feeling unsafe after atlanta shootings
Last week, a string of murders targeting spas in the Atlanta area left eight people dead, including six Asian women. The tragedy amplified the conversation around anti-Asian hate, racism and violence in the United States, heightened in the last year by COVID misinformation and stereotyping. Reports of hate crimes targeting Asian Americans have increased dramatically over the last year.
But the shootings in Atlanta were an inflection point for many Asian Americans already struggling to feel safe within their communities over fears of gender and race-based violence.
Ishii said anti-Asian stereotypes, particularly of Asian women, have made her feel like an outsider her whole life. COVID brought another layer of stereotyping.
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Last week at a grocery store, a shopper accosted her, blaming her for the spread of the coronavirus. The same thing happened a year ago in Minneapolis. Now, Ishii said, she thinks twice about what time of day she shops, keeps an eye out for store exits and tries not to be alone in a grocery aisle. Chris Stuive is a counseling professor in Kenai. She is a Korean American adoptee, raised by white parents in Michigan.
But there are also subtle things, like being stared at in the grocery store during the pandemic. Last week, a man started barking at her at the gas station. Having grown up in a white family, Stuive grappled a lot with her identity.
Stuive said the last few years have made her more alert and cautious, knowing she or her family might be a target. That diminished feeling of safety is something many Asian Alaskans are grappling with.
Tom Li is a software engineer who moved to Alaska from Fuzhou, China 10 years ago to attend college and be with his father. Li fell in love with the state and its people. An Anchorage resident, he calls himself Alaskan first, then American.
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Every time something like that happens, Li said he feels upset for a few weeks. After one particularly confrontational incident — two men stopped Li and his then-girlfriend to harass them on the sidewalk — Li decided to start carrying a gun.
Last Saturday, Li and a friend waved s denouncing the Atlanta shootings on an Anchorage street corner. I almost see my mom in the pictures.
In addition to poorer living and working conditions, Asian cannery workers were paid less than their white counterparts. In a study a few years ago, David and his colleagues found more than half of Asian Alaskans experience harassment, violence and other forms of racism in their daily lives.
David said that trend of gendered racism is also familiar in Alaska, with the high of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and the high rates of violence against Native women. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders make up the third-largest demographic group in Alaska, after white and Alaska Native people.
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Processing the Atlanta shootings over the last week, David — who has experienced his own share of profiling and race-based harassment — said he felt saddened and enraged, but not surprised. It distorts what people really are, which is a full, complex human being.
Alumni say they were inspired by recent protests across the country — and the racist reactions to those protests by staff members. As national dialogues on race continue to evolve, the Juneau school district is grappling with how to best address race and equity in the classroom. Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram. Alumni recount racial discrimination and demand change at Anchorage private Christian schools July 22, Alumni say they were inspired by recent protests across the country — and the racist reactions to those protests by staff members.