Wednesday, 19 May, 2021

Stop Racial Hatred

Dixya Poudel

The hashtag #StopAAPIHate has been trending in the social media for a while now. AAPI stands for Asian American and Pacific Islanders and #StopAAPIHate is an initiative in the United States to support AAPI communities against racial discrimination. The hashtag was founded by the Chinese for Affirmative Action, Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council and the Asian American Studies Department of San Francisco University in 2020.
In this era of division, there has been an alarming surge in racial divides. The hate crimes against minorities such as Asian Americans have been increasing in the shadow of pandemic. When a Filipino American Uber driver was assaulted by two suspects in San Francisco and an elderly Asian woman was attacked in New York, it led to social media frenzy and eventual arrests of the culprits. And after the fatal shootings in Atlanta in March 16, there has been an enraged outcry over rising hate crimes that target Asian Americans. More and more Asian Americans who have been subject to racial discriminations have since poured out their frustrations in the social media.
Diversity is crucial to society since it encourages tolerance and acceptance of people of varied ethnicity, nationality and religion. It is what makes a society more open and trusting of one another. Diversity further increases opportunities for a better world where all voices can be heard equally and with empathy. Further, innovations, inventiveness and creativity thrive in a diverse society. And yet, we keep hearing of racial slurs and violence against the minorities.
Particularly it is jarring in the United States where it has become increasingly difficult to be a non-white citizen. Certainly, in a democratic nation all citizens have equal rights. Then why are hate crimes and discriminations on the rise despite the democratic ideals? Migrants, immigrants and refugees are likely to face discriminations of some forms in their adopted nations. Every now and then such discriminations lead to acts of violence and hate crimes against the minorities. While people are wary of the differences in race, ethnicity and nationality, they can also be accepting of such differences.
People of diverse backgrounds can find a common ground where each and every person is valued and acknowledged. And yet, there are instances of racism and division that have become more apparent lately, especially in the US. The fact is every life is valuable and each person matters. Race, gender, ethnicity and nationality are just a few of the defining characteristics of a person.
The humanity is the same regardless of the differences. If only we could see beyond such differences in skin colour, facial features, languages, religion and culture, we could acknowledge the humanity at the centre. Being a minority shouldn’t diminish a person's socioeconomic prospects. And instead of pointing fingers at someone who belongs to the minority, it is important to embrace diversity.
In the wake of the pandemic that has laid bare the socioeconomic and racial divides, the world has witnessed a rise in hatred. At a time when people should be standing with one another, they are taking sides and forming sects within societies. However, through the hashtags such as #StopAAPIHate, aware individuals are stepping up to sound the alarm against racism. Today more than ever, the world requires empathy, compassion and acceptance to counteract racial hatreds.