The Cardinal Times Spring 2021 Issue

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OPINION The Cardinal Times, SPRING, 2021 • PAGE 11

Editorial: Asian-American violence is nothing new



Content warning: This article contains

graphic descriptions of violence and hate

crimes against the Asian-American community.

On Mar. 1, 2020, an Asian man in New

York City gets water thrown at him while

being accused of carrying the coronavirus.

On Mar. 16, 2020, an Asian man is verbally

confronted for coughing in a Target

store in Daly City, Calif.

In early April of 2020, an Instagram post

is shared by @antiasianclubnyc threatening

to “shoot at every Asian” in Chinatown

to “destroy the epidemic of the coronavirus.”

Now, nearly a year later, hashtags like

#stopasianhate and #protectourelders are

trending across social media, and mainstream

media sources are finally covering

the repeated attacks on Asian people in the

United States. However, for Asian-American

community members, this outdated

news has only come after months of unheard

cries for help.

In late January of 2021, several Portland

businesses were attacked, 11 out of 13 being

Asian-owned. These businesses are located

in East Portland, where the majority of

Portland’s Asian community resides. One

could reasonably assume that, since these

attacks were local, more Portlanders would

be aware of it. However, due to the lack

of accurate reporting and media coverage

on discrimination and violence towards

Asian-Americans (especially for lower-income

neighborhoods like the Jade District

in East Portland where these businesses are

located), it’s difficult to talk to another person

about the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes

without having to give context.

Media coverage of Asian hate crimes fails

to label them as such, sustaining the idea

that our pain does not deserve recognition.

On Mar. 16, 2021, a white terrorist shot and

killed eight women in Asian-owned businesses,

six of whom were Asian victims. In

the days following this tragic hate crime,

headlines failed to acknowledge the race of

the victims, in turn ignoring the racist intent

of the murderer and working to victimize

him instead. The idea that Asian-American

violence is not “newsworthy” is a

familiar one, and continues to suppress and

ignore our oppression.

The “model minority” myth– upheld

by American white supremacy– affords

Asian-Americans a false luxury that allows

people to perceive us as “closer to whiteness.”

As a result, Asian-American reports

of racism are often ignored. Our oppression

is overshadowed by our perceived perfection.

This sentiment, in combination with

the popularity and virality of racist Asian

jokes, perpetuates the notion that our pain

shouldn’t, and doesn’t, deserve to be taken

seriously. This erasure and ignorance of

Asian hate crimes creates a cycle in which

Asian-Americans fail to speak up or report

violence out of the fear of not being taken


Historically, the ideal Asian person is

seen as submissive and apolitical, deeming

us ideal targets for racial hate crimes

without fear of retaliation or backlash. In a

white-dominated world, adhering to these

compliant and nonassertive stereotypes

affords us power and privilege. Many of us

seek to fulfill these stereotypes to appease

white people in power, internalizing the

racism that we have been conditioned in.

As a result, many Asian-Americans suffer

from internalized racism that contributes

to the silencing of incidents of racialized


Similarly, the grip of white supremacy

rewards division and conflict between marginalized

racial groups in America, as it

hinders collective power that has the potential

to dismantle this system of superiority.

Asian-American activists fight for civil liberties at a 2017 May Day (International Workers’ Day) rally in

San Francisco.


Asian-Americans must refrain from using

Asian hate as an opportunity to exercise

anti-Blackness. Instead, we should seek allyship

and solidarity to promote universal


The Students For Fair Admissions v.

Harvard court case, for example, displays

the terrifying social control white America

has over people of color, baiting different

communities into an us-versus-them narrative

as marginalized groups vie for the

limited opportunities that they are allowed.

When the race of Asian students negatively

impacted their college admissions, white

litigators sought to tear down the affirmative

action policies that benefit marginalized

groups. With Asian-American plaintiffs,

asking the courts to end the use of race

in college admissions is more effective than

white anti-affirmative action students.

As victims of white supremacy, each oppressed

racial group has the potential to

turn against one another, as displayed by

inter-racial violence. However, phrases like

“Asian Lives Matter” divert attention away

from liberation movements by turning oppression

into a competition, rather than a

common enemy that needs to be treated as


To our non-Asian peers: use this opportunity

to uplift and listen to Asian voices,

and further educate yourself on how to critically

analyze ways in which your behavior

negatively impacts the Asian community.

For more information on how to help,

visit the links below.





Editorial Board: Give teams the choice to play the national anthem



Over the course of the United States’

history, many citizens have viewed the national

anthem as the foremost symbol of


Since 1918, when “The Star-Spangled

Banner” was played during the seventh-inning

stretch of Game One of the World Series

(and especially due to a resurgence in

its popularity following WWII), the song

has been a staple at sporting events around

the nation— including at Lincoln sporting

events such as football games.

No team, however, should be required to

play the national anthem at all.

In early February, Dallas Mavericks owner

Mark Cuban, made the choice to stop

playing “The Star-Spangled Banner” before

regular-season games. When the NBA realized

this, they issued a statement reaffirming

their policy that required teams to play

the song.

The fight over the anthem perpetuates

partisanship when the country is arguably

more divided than it has been since the Civil

War. Conversations about the song have

proven to be a flash point between the right

and the left. Conservatives belittle athletes

for using their platform to protest and liberals

condemn those critics.

The full national anthem includes the lyrics:

“No refuge could save the hireling and

slave, From the terror of flight or the gloom

of the grave.” These lyrics, which condone

slavery, make the anthem a poor representation

of patriotism for many Americans,

and we on the editorial board find it foolish

to let a wartime tradition from over a century

ago exacerbate the partisan divide in

our country.

Over the past five years, the national anthem

has caused more divisiveness than

ever before.

During the 2016 NFL season, San Francisco

49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick

kneeled during the anthem for every regular-season

game. He was soon released

from the team and has been effectively

blacklisted from the NFL since then.

Instead of being forced to play the anthem,

coaches and players at all levels,

including here at Lincoln, should sit down

and discuss as a team whether it is the right

choice for them. Some teams will choose

to keep it, but others could choose to play

a different song instead like “Lift Every

Voice and Sing.” Some teams might opt out

of playing any song at all, directing their

attention to the actual game and competitions.

Lincoln football players kneel during the national anthem on Mike Walsh Field before a game against

Madison, Sept. 22, 2017.


Nearly every high school football team

in the United States plays the national anthem.

While it’s somewhat understandable

that the NBA and professional leagues have

policies in place for uniformity, it’s unnecessary

for high school teams to follow this


We are not advocating for the removal

of the anthem entirely. The problem is that

many people who support the anthem believe

that when athletes kneel, they are implying

they don’t respect the people who do

stand for the anthem.

Perhaps this can change someday and

those who disagree can form a mutual understanding

with each other. Until then,

the divisiveness will cause more harm than


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