The documentary Rising Against Asia Hate: One Day in March came out about a month ago, but it some of its key points are particularly relevant today, particularly with the Senate runoff in Georgia between Raphael Warnock and Herschel Walker. It focuses on the Asian American experience and fight against Asian hate after the 2021 Atlanta Spa killings. I found the Sandra Oh narrated documentary at times moving, infuriating, and enlightening.
One part of the documentary that I found moving is the story of Robert Peterson looking for his mother Yong Ae Yue in the aftermath of the shootings. PBS provides a preview of Peterson’s story here. A part that might make you mad is how quickly the local police dismissed any motive of racism in the shootings, saying it was that the shooter was having a bad day. Media seemed to focus on saying what a good guy for the most part the shooter was rather than focusing on the victims. An enlightening part focused on the difficulty of prosecuting hate crimes against Asian Americans.
A substantial section of the documentary is about the Asian Americans in politics in Georgia and their reactions. After Asian Americans help flip Georgia in 2022, one politician states that her district was being redistricted to weaken Asian American voting. Still, both parties are courting Asian Americans in Georgia. We mentioned that in general and before the runoff election between Raphael Warnock and Heschel Walker on December 6, both parties worked to attract Asian American voters in Georgia and other states. Asian American voters overall favored Warnock, which may have been the difference in that close election.
Rising Against Asian Hate: A Day in March was produced by Repartee Films, LLC in association with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM). The Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), The WNET Group for PBS, and the Asian American Foundation are among the many groups and individuals that funded it.