8 Asians

There was unfortunately a couple of prominent news articles highlighting violence against Asians this week. Most recently comes the news that actor Kal Penn was mugged at gun point in Washington D.C. Penn is in DC working in the Office of Public Liaison and focuses on President Obama’s outreach to the Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities.

Closer to my home was the news that 59 year old Tiansheng Yu died after a brutal attack in broad daylight on what was considered a relatively safe neighborhood in Oakland, CA. His death followed an incident where his son, was punched for no reason after entering a store. Tiansheng Yu went to confront his son’s attackers and was punched in the face by the same attackers. Two African American men, accused of the crime have been arrested.

The Philadelphia Inquirer ran an article this week recapping the violence against Asian American students in a local high school. The article compared the recent attacks with ones that occurred in 2002 at a high school in Lafayette, PA.

KGO, a local San Francisco station also ran a news story about three recent attacks (one fatal) against Asians on the Muni, SF’s public transit system

It’s surprising to see so much news on anti-Asian violence. I tend to believe it’s not 1982 anymore (when Vincent Chin was murdered after being mistaken for Japanese at the height of anti-Japanese sentiment). With all the positive changes we’ve had in the last almost 30 years, I tend to believe we live in a more tolerant society. But it’s news reports like the ones we’ve had this month, that makes me wonder if we’ve learned anything at all.

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