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Is It Safe to Give In to Pressure to Reopen Schools?

“The first reason Black parents are reluctant to have their children return to school is health and safety. More Black children are likely to live in multi-generational homes. This means that even though children are less likely to manifest COVID-19 symptoms, they can still contract and shed the virus and infect a grandparent or parent with underlying conditions. Given the high rate of COVID infections and death in the Black and Brown communities, Black families are not willing to take the risk of transmission.”   Of course, Ladson-Billings doesn’t speak for all Black parents, but some polls indicate that she probably does speak for many. 

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Kitty Kelly Epstein

The demand to open schools has taken a bizarre turn.  The same communities which have seen the most sickness and death also seem to be taking the rap for not having already opened schools.

Case rates are falling, and every district absolutely needs to have a workable, safe, phased-in plan for returning to in-person instruction.   And, while we do that, we need to respond to the clueless conversations occurring in some parts of the press.

Renowned education researcher, Gloria Ladson-Billings, addresses this with a blog called “Stop Using Black Kids as An Excuse to Open Your Schools.” She explains the reasons why Black parents may not be as enthusiastic as more affluent white parents.

“The first reason Black parents are reluctant to have their children return to school is health and safety. More Black children are likely to live in multi-generational homes. This means that even though children are less likely to manifest COVID-19 symptoms, they can still contract and shed the virus and infect a grandparent or parent with underlying conditions. Given the high rate of COVID infections and death in the Black and Brown communities, Black families are not willing to take the risk of transmission.”   Of course, Ladson-Billings doesn’t speak for all Black parents, but some polls indicate that she probably does speak for many.

Locally, the question seems to come out something like this “Piedmont (an affluent mostly white city) has schools open.  Oakland (a working-class city with mostly Black and Brown residents) right next door does not have schools open.    What’s wrong with Oakland?”

What’s wrong is that Piedmont has had 165 cases of Covid, while Oakland has had 25,000 cases.   And this is where the systemic racism lies.  First the federal government failed to stop the devastating spread of the disease.  And second, the U.S. racial wealth gap means that Black and Brown communities are doing more of the dangerous “essential’ work while whites are more likely to have other income or to work from the safety of home.  If it’s not safe to have 10 people over for Thanksgiving dinner in a house, we may wonder, how safe could it be to have hundreds of people in a school building together?

We are beginning to have some answers to this question as it stands now.   In France, where the unpopular education minister, Blanquer, has gloated over keeping France’s schools open, we finally know something about how this has turned out.

One of the schools he is proud of was shown on the news a few days ago.  The reporter mentioned that four teachers had COVID.  This is out of a teaching staff of around 24.    With a 1-in-6 chance of getting the deadly disease, those folks would be safer working in a coal mine.

And there is some statistical evidence from the U.S. as well.

Esther Oster, a Brown University researcher, has data which show that rates of infection increased among teachers in New York and Texas, two states which have their public schools open.  Her work is reported in the Jan. 12, 2021, issue of Chalkbeat.  Nearly 1-in-100 staff members had contracted COVID in just the first two weeks of December in those two states.

We need a plan to go back to in-person instruction that takes these things into account.   First, we need to understand that the initial steps will be smaller groups of students in smaller spaces, and parents should be asked about the details of all these plans.

Second, we need to determine, as a community, that we are not “going back to normal.” The teachers in my education classes want to start with rebuilding relationships.  Ladson-Billings asks whether we’re going to ask about the learning gains as well as the “learning losses” of students.  Did all those students protesting in the streets this past year learn anything we want to hear about?    Will we let the 40% of California students who speak a language other than English teach the teachers and other students how to speak their language?  And will we get the courage to reject another expensive, discriminatory standardized test destined to give teachers and students yet another reason for discouragement

I love teaching in person.  I love sitting in a tight-knit circle conducting a seminar with my students.  I can’t wait until the vaccinations have brought the case rates down enough for this to happen.   And I’m giving thanks to all the blessed scientists and health care people around the world who worked so hard and so fast to make that possible.

Kitty Kelly Epstein, PhD is a professor, the host of Education Today, and the co-author, with BSU leader Bernard Stringer, of “Changing Academia Forever:  Black Student Leaders Analyze the Movement They Led.” (2020)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Activism

Chauvin Trial Shows Need for Broad Focus on Systemic Racism

Officer’s Conviction Necessary but Not Sufficient, Greenlining Institute Says

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OAKLAND, CALIFORNIA – In response to the announcement of the conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin on all three counts in the killing of George Floyd, Greenlining Institute President and CEO Debra Gore-Mann released the following statement:
“Today we experienced a small measure of justice as Derek Chauvin was convicted and the killing of George Floyd was recognized as the criminal act it was. But we shouldn’t fool ourselves into thinking that one conviction of one cop for a killing the whole world witnessed on video will change a fundamentally racist and dysfunctional system. The whole law enforcement system must be rethought and rebuilt from the ground up so that there are no more George Floyds, Daunte Wrights and Adam Toledos. But even that is just a start.
“Policing doesn’t operate in a vacuum. Systemic racism exists in policing because systemic racism exists in America. We must fundamentally uproot the disease of racism in our society and create a transformative path forward.”
To learn more about The Greenlining Institute, visit www.greenlining.org.

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Activism

When I See George Floyd, I See an Asian American

 A modern-day lynching is specific and symbolic all at once. If you know Asian American history, then you know Asians in California, Chinese, and Filipino, were lynched in America.

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courtesy istock

You watching the trial of the now ex-Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin, the person I call the “knee man?”

   That’s what he was. Chauvin’s on trial for the murder of George Floyd, but I’m wondering how the defense is going to play this. Say that Chauvin’s knee acted independently? 

     The evidence is piling up. In Monday’s testimony, no less than the Minneapolis Chief of Police Medaria Arradondo said that Chauvin’s actions were in violation of “our principles and values that we have.” 

    In other words, the placing of the knee to the neck of Floyd, who was face down with hands cuffed behind his back, was “in no way, shape or form part of police policy or training.”

    If you’re a juror and hear the chief come down on Chauvin, how can you possibly not find the officer guilty?

   The defense has said it will focus on Floyd’s fentanyl drug use, presumably to link that as the real cause of death. But the prosecution on Monday brought out Dr. Bradford Langenfield, the Emergency Room doc who pronounced Floyd dead. He noted the length of time before Floyd got any breathing aid, and said Floyd’s death was more likely caused by asphyxia, or a lack of oxygen. 

     From the drugs or the knee?

     The defense will claim it wasn’t the knee, which at times was also on Floyd’s shoulder. Is that enough reasonable doubt? 

    Remember it was when Chauvin’s knee was on Floyd’s neck, not when he was walking around with drugs in his system, when Floyd said, “I can’t breathe.” 

   So far, the trial’s most compelling moment came when Darnella Frazier, the teenager who took the cell phone video we all have seen, recalled her trauma at witnessing of Floyd’s death.

     “When I look at George Floyd, I look at my dad, I look at my brothers, I look at my cousins, my uncles because they are all Black. I have a Black brother, I have Black friends. And I look at that and I look at how that could have been one of them,” Frazier said. “It’s been nights, I stayed up apologizing and apologizing to George Floyd for not doing more. And not physically interacting.”

     Van Jones on CNN said Frazier had witnessed a lynching.

   “When you have a lynching, which is what this was,” said Jones, “you aren’t just torturing the individual who you’re strangling to death, you’re torturing the whole community.”

     A modern-day lynching is specific and symbolic all at once. If you know Asian American history, then you know Asians in California, Chinese, and Filipino, were lynched in America.

As my friend Ishmael Reed told me on my amok.com vlog, don’t let the media play “divide and conquer.” This isn’t a Black vs. Asian thing.

All BIPOC are fighting a common foe.  All people of color have been under someone’s knee at some time in America. It’s our common ground, our shared past in America’s racist history.

That’s why to paraphrase Darnella Frazier, when I see George Floyd, I see an Asian American. And so should you.

Emil Guillermo is an award-winning Bay Area veteran journalist and commentator. See his vlog at www.amok.com 

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Activism

Asian‌ ‌Americans‌ ‌Know‌ ‌Centuries‌ ‌of‌ ‌White‌ ‌Supremacy‌ ‌Too‌ ‌ ‌

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Vincent Chin, photo courtesy Wikipedia

I’m‌ ‌all‌ ‌for‌ ‌recycling.‌ ‌The‌ ‌good‌ ‌kind.‌ ‌Paper.‌ ‌Plastics.‌ ‌Just‌ ‌not‌ ‌the‌ ‌hate.‌ ‌

But‌ ‌what‌ ‌do‌ ‌we‌ ‌have‌ ‌with‌ ‌us‌ ‌in‌ ‌Atlanta?‌ ‌

It’s‌ ‌Vincent‌ ‌Chin,‌ ‌you‌ ‌know‌ ‌the‌ ‌Asian‌ ‌American‌ ‌killed‌ ‌in‌ ‌Detroit‌ ‌in‌ ‌1982‌ ‌with‌ ‌a‌ ‌baseball‌ ‌bat‌ ‌by‌ ‌
a‌ ‌white‌ ‌auto‌ ‌worker‌ ‌angry‌ ‌at‌ ‌Japanese‌ ‌imports‌ ‌taking‌ ‌over‌ ‌the‌ ‌market.

But‌ ‌Chin‌ ‌was‌ ‌Chinese,‌ ‌not‌ ‌Japanese.‌ ‌Details.‌ ‌ ‌
That’s‌ ‌why‌ ‌I‌ ‌say‌ ‌Atlanta‌ ‌was‌ ‌Vincent‌ ‌Chin‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌names‌ ‌changed.‌ ‌
Soon‌ ‌Chung‌ ‌Park,‌ ‌74,‌ ‌worked‌ ‌at‌ ‌Gold‌ ‌spa.‌ ‌
Hyun‌ ‌Jung‌ ‌Grant,‌ ‌51,‌ ‌the‌ ‌single‌ ‌mother‌ ‌who‌ ‌worked‌ ‌at‌ ‌Gold‌ ‌Spa‌ ‌to‌ ‌support‌ ‌herself‌ ‌and‌ ‌her‌ ‌two‌ ‌
sons.‌ ‌
Suncha‌ ‌Kim,‌ ‌69,‌ ‌a‌ ‌Gold‌ ‌Spa‌ ‌worker.‌ ‌
Yong‌ ‌Ae‌ ‌Yue,‌ ‌63,‌ ‌a‌ ‌worker‌ ‌at‌ ‌the‌ ‌Aromatherapy‌ ‌Spa.‌ ‌
Xiaojie‌ ‌Tan,‌ ‌49,‌ ‌the‌ ‌owner‌ ‌of‌ ‌Young’s‌ ‌Asian‌ ‌Massage.‌ ‌
Daoyou‌ ‌Feng,‌ ‌44,‌ ‌an‌ ‌employee‌ ‌at‌ ‌Young’s‌ ‌Asian‌ ‌Massage.‌ ‌
Those‌ ‌six‌ ‌names‌ ‌strike‌ ‌the‌ ‌discordant‌ ‌history‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌hateful‌ ‌treatment‌ ‌of‌ ‌Asian‌ ‌Americans‌ ‌in‌ ‌this‌ ‌
country,‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌Chinese‌ ‌Exclusion‌ ‌Act‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌19‌th‌‌ ‌Century‌ ‌to‌ ‌today.‌ ‌ ‌
Asian‌ ‌Americans‌ ‌know‌ ‌hate‌ ‌and‌ ‌racism‌ ‌from‌ ‌their‌ ‌first‌ ‌day‌ ‌in‌ ‌America.‌ ‌
President‌ ‌Joe‌ ‌Biden‌ ‌recognized‌ ‌it.‌ ‌And‌ ‌now‌ ‌suddenly,‌ ‌Biden‌ ‌has‌ ‌become‌ ‌one‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌most‌ ‌
pro-Asian‌ ‌American‌ ‌presidents‌ ‌the‌ ‌U.S.‌ ‌has‌ ‌seen‌ ‌since‌ ‌Reagan‌ ‌signed‌ ‌the‌ ‌bill‌ ‌giving‌ ‌Japanese‌ ‌
Americans‌ ‌redress.‌ ‌
Think‌ ‌about‌ ‌that.‌ ‌Did‌ ‌either‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌Bushes,‌ ‌Clinton,‌ ‌or‌ ‌even‌ ‌Obama‌ ‌do‌ ‌anything‌ ‌that‌ ‌addressed‌ ‌
Asian‌ ‌American‌ ‌existential‌ ‌angst‌ ‌like‌ ‌Biden?‌ ‌
One‌ ‌thing‌ ‌for‌ ‌sure,‌ ‌the‌ ‌last‌ ‌president‌ ‌was‌ ‌the‌ ‌absolute‌ ‌worst.‌ ‌He‌ ‌slurred‌ ‌Asian‌ ‌Americans‌ ‌and‌ ‌
made‌ ‌us‌ ‌targets.‌ ‌
In‌ ‌contrast,‌ ‌Biden‌ ‌has‌ ‌shined‌ ‌a‌ ‌light‌ ‌on‌ ‌us‌ ‌and‌ ‌made‌ ‌us‌ ‌visible.‌ ‌
He‌ ‌selected‌ ‌Vice‌ ‌President‌ ‌Kamala‌ ‌Harris,‌ ‌who‌ ‌is‌ ‌half‌ ‌South‌ ‌Asian‌ ‌of‌ ‌Indian‌ ‌descent.‌ ‌
As‌ ‌he‌ ‌began‌ ‌his‌ ‌presidency,‌ ‌Biden‌ ‌signed‌ ‌an‌ ‌unusual‌ ‌executive‌ ‌order‌ ‌making‌ ‌sure‌ ‌everyone‌ ‌in‌ ‌
the‌ ‌country‌ ‌knew‌ ‌that‌ ‌the‌ ‌attacks‌ ‌on‌ ‌Asian‌ ‌Americans‌ ‌were‌ ‌wrong‌ ‌and‌ ‌“un-American.”‌ ‌
He‌ ‌came‌ ‌out‌ ‌strong‌ ‌for‌ ‌us‌ ‌in‌ ‌his‌ ‌first‌ ‌national‌ ‌television‌ ‌address‌ ‌a‌ ‌few‌ ‌weeks‌ ‌ago.‌ ‌
And‌ ‌then,‌ ‌after‌ ‌meeting‌ ‌with‌ ‌local‌ ‌AAPI‌ ‌leaders‌ ‌after‌ ‌last‌ ‌week’s‌ ‌shootings‌ ‌in‌ ‌Atlanta,‌ ‌Biden‌ ‌
once‌ ‌again‌ ‌elevated‌ ‌our‌ ‌status‌ ‌simply‌ ‌by‌ ‌showing‌ ‌everyone‌ ‌he‌ ‌has‌ ‌our‌ ‌backs.‌ ‌His‌ ‌remarks‌ ‌are‌ ‌
worth‌ ‌remembering‌ ‌because‌ ‌they‌ ‌put‌ ‌him‌ ‌on‌ ‌record,‌ ‌as‌ ‌he‌ ‌described‌ ‌the‌ ‌impact‌ ‌of‌ ‌Trump‌ ‌
administration‌ ‌rhetoric‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌AAPI‌ ‌community.‌ ‌
“It’s‌ ‌been‌ ‌a‌ ‌year‌ ‌of‌ ‌living‌ ‌in‌ ‌fear‌ ‌for‌ ‌their‌ ‌lives,”‌ ‌Biden‌ ‌said‌ ‌of‌ ‌all‌ ‌AAPIs‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌country.‌ ‌“Hate‌ ‌
and‌ ‌violence‌ ‌often‌ ‌hide‌ ‌in‌ ‌plain‌ ‌sight‌ ‌and‌ ‌often‌ ‌are‌ ‌met‌ ‌with‌ ‌silence.‌ ‌That’s‌ ‌been‌ ‌true‌ ‌throughout‌ ‌
our‌ ‌history.‌ ‌and‌ ‌that‌ ‌has‌ ‌to‌ ‌change.‌ ‌
“Because‌ ‌our‌ ‌silence‌ ‌is‌ ‌complicity.‌ ‌We‌ ‌cannot‌ ‌be‌ ‌complicit.‌ ‌We‌ ‌have‌ ‌to‌ ‌speak‌ ‌out.‌ ‌We‌ ‌have‌ ‌to‌ ‌
act.‌ ‌For‌ ‌all‌ ‌the‌ ‌good‌ ‌the‌ ‌laws‌ ‌can‌ ‌do,‌ ‌we‌ ‌have‌ ‌to‌ ‌change‌ ‌our‌ ‌hearts.‌ ‌
“Hate‌ ‌can‌ ‌have‌ ‌no‌ ‌safe‌ ‌harbor‌ ‌in‌ ‌America.‌ ‌It‌ ‌must‌ ‌stop.‌ ‌And‌ ‌it’s‌ ‌on‌ ‌all‌ ‌of‌ ‌us,‌ ‌all‌ ‌of‌ ‌us‌ ‌together,‌ ‌to‌ ‌
make‌ ‌it‌ ‌stop.”‌ ‌
Strong‌ ‌words,‌ ‌from‌ ‌no‌ ‌less‌ ‌than‌ ‌the‌ ‌president‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌United‌ ‌States.‌ ‌
It’s‌ ‌enough‌ ‌to‌ ‌unite‌ ‌Asian‌ ‌Americans.‌ ‌Is‌ ‌our‌ ‌fear‌ ‌enough‌ ‌to‌ ‌unite‌ ‌a‌ ‌country?‌ ‌
Not‌ ‌with‌ ‌Republicans‌ ‌like‌ ‌Texas‌ ‌Congressman‌ ‌Chip‌ ‌Roy,‌ ‌who‌ ‌couldn’t‌ ‌find‌ ‌the‌ ‌empathy‌ ‌at‌ ‌last‌ ‌
week’s‌ ‌Judiciary‌ ‌Subcommittee‌ ‌hearing‌ ‌to‌ ‌change‌ ‌his‌ ‌heart‌ ‌and‌ ‌join‌ ‌in‌ ‌condemning‌ ‌the‌ ‌murder‌ ‌
of‌ ‌eight‌ ‌people‌ ‌in‌ ‌Atlanta,‌ ‌six‌ ‌of‌ ‌whom‌ ‌were‌ ‌Asian‌ ‌American‌ ‌women.‌ ‌
“My‌ ‌concern‌ ‌about‌ ‌the‌ ‌hearing‌ ‌is‌ ‌that‌ ‌it‌ ‌seems‌ ‌to‌ ‌want‌ ‌to‌ ‌venture‌ ‌into‌ ‌the‌ ‌policing‌ ‌of‌ ‌rhetoric,”‌ ‌
said‌ ‌Roy,‌ ‌a‌ ‌Trump‌ ‌backer‌ ‌who‌ ‌was‌ ‌trying‌ ‌to‌ ‌defend‌ ‌the‌ ‌ex-president’s‌ ‌“China‌ ‌Virus”‌ ‌and‌ ‌“Kung‌ ‌
Flu”‌ ‌remarks.‌ ‌
Asian‌ ‌American‌ ‌voters,‌ ‌a‌ ‌third‌ ‌of‌ ‌whom‌ ‌voted‌ ‌Republican‌ ‌for‌ ‌Trump,‌ ‌should‌ ‌remember‌ ‌this.‌ ‌The‌ ‌
Republicans‌ ‌who‌ ‌remain‌ ‌hell-bent‌ ‌on‌ ‌defending‌ ‌Trump’s‌ ‌big‌ ‌lie–that‌ ‌he‌ ‌won‌ ‌the‌ ‌2020‌ ‌
election–see‌ ‌“China‌ ‌Virus”‌ ‌as‌ ‌a‌ ‌matter‌ ‌of‌ ‌Trump’s‌ ‌free‌ ‌speech.‌ ‌
And‌ ‌what‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌thousands‌ ‌of‌ ‌AAPIs‌ ‌victimized‌ ‌by‌ ‌his‌ ‌hateful‌ ‌turn‌ ‌of‌ ‌phrase?‌ ‌
Rep.‌ ‌Grace‌ ‌Meng‌ ‌(D-NY)‌ ‌let‌ ‌him‌ ‌have‌ ‌it.‌ ‌
“This‌ ‌hearing‌ ‌was‌ ‌to‌ ‌address‌ ‌the‌ ‌hurt‌ ‌and‌ ‌pain‌ ‌of‌ ‌our‌ ‌community,‌ ‌and‌ ‌to‌ ‌find‌ ‌solutions,”‌ ‌Meng‌ ‌
said‌ ‌in‌ ‌a‌ ‌rare‌ ‌show‌ ‌of‌ ‌emotion‌ ‌and‌ ‌passion.‌ ‌“We‌ ‌will‌ ‌not‌ ‌let‌ ‌you‌ ‌take‌ ‌our‌ ‌voice‌ ‌away‌ ‌from‌ ‌us.”‌ ‌
That’s‌ ‌where‌ ‌we‌ ‌are‌ ‌today.‌ ‌
People‌ ‌are‌ ‌angry.‌ ‌And‌ ‌only‌ ‌the‌ ‌Democrats‌ ‌truly‌ ‌seem‌ ‌interested,‌ ‌not‌ ‌just‌ ‌in‌ ‌stopping‌ ‌the‌ ‌hate‌ ‌but‌ ‌
in‌ ‌recognizing‌ ‌it.‌ ‌
This‌ ‌week,‌ ‌Meng‌ ‌and‌ ‌Sen.‌ ‌Mazie‌ ‌Hirono‌ ‌continued‌ ‌to‌ ‌campaign‌ ‌for‌ ‌their‌ ‌Covid‌ ‌Hate‌ ‌Crime‌ ‌Bill‌ ‌
that‌ ‌would‌ ‌have‌ ‌the‌ ‌Justice‌ ‌Department‌ ‌conduct‌ ‌fast‌ ‌reviews‌ ‌of‌ ‌possible‌ ‌hate‌ ‌crime‌ ‌cases.‌ ‌This‌ ‌
was‌ ‌thought‌ ‌up‌ ‌long‌ ‌before‌ ‌the‌ ‌shootings‌ ‌in‌ ‌Atlanta,‌ ‌but‌ ‌it‌ ‌would‌ ‌seem‌ ‌to‌ ‌be‌ ‌perfect‌ ‌timing.‌ ‌The‌ ‌
the bill‌ ‌also‌ ‌sets‌ ‌up‌ ‌an‌ ‌online‌ ‌reporting‌ ‌system‌ ‌in‌ ‌different‌ ‌Asian‌ ‌languages‌ ‌that‌ ‌would‌ ‌stop‌ ‌the‌ ‌
undercounting‌ ‌of‌ ‌hate‌ ‌crimes‌ ‌and‌ ‌make‌ ‌it‌ ‌easy‌ ‌for‌ ‌AAPIs‌ ‌to‌ ‌report‌ ‌them.‌ ‌
Robert‌ ‌Aaron‌ ‌Long,‌ ‌21,‌ ‌the‌ ‌Atlanta‌ ‌shooting‌ ‌suspect,‌ ‌has‌ ‌been‌ ‌charged‌ ‌with‌ ‌eight‌ ‌counts‌ ‌of‌ ‌
murder‌ ‌and‌ ‌one‌ ‌count‌ ‌of‌ ‌aggravated‌ ‌assault.‌ ‌Long‌ ‌has‌ ‌admitted‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌shootings‌ ‌but‌ ‌told‌ ‌police‌ ‌
he‌ ‌was‌ ‌just‌ ‌a‌ ‌religious‌ ‌man‌ ‌battling‌ ‌‌ ‌sex‌ ‌addiction.‌ ‌The‌ ‌shootings‌ ‌Long‌ ‌told‌ ‌police,‌ ‌weren’t‌ ‌
racially‌ ‌motivated.‌ ‌
That’s‌ ‌what‌ ‌they‌ ‌all‌ ‌say.‌ ‌
Ronald‌ ‌Ebens,‌ ‌who‌ ‌killed‌ ‌Vincent‌ ‌Chin‌ ‌with‌ ‌a‌ ‌baseball‌ ‌bat,‌ ‌said‌ ‌the‌ ‌same‌ ‌thing.‌ ‌
Ebens‌ ‌did‌ ‌get‌ ‌off‌ ‌without‌ ‌spending‌ ‌time‌ ‌in‌ ‌jail.‌ ‌Long‌ ‌is‌ ‌being‌ ‌held‌ ‌without‌ ‌bail‌ ‌while‌ ‌the‌ ‌police‌ ‌
continue‌ ‌to‌ ‌investigate.‌ ‌
That‌ ‌does‌ ‌nothing‌ ‌for‌ ‌Asian‌ ‌Americans,‌ ‌still‌ ‌grief-stricken‌ ‌and‌ ‌angry.‌ ‌Hate‌ ‌crime‌ ‌enhancements‌ ‌
could‌ ‌easily‌ ‌be‌ ‌applied‌ ‌if‌ ‌the‌ ‌new‌ ‌Georgia‌ ‌state‌ ‌hate‌ ‌crime‌ ‌statute‌ ‌that‌ ‌expands‌ ‌coverage‌ ‌to‌ ‌
include‌ ‌sex‌ ‌as‌ ‌well‌ ‌as‌ ‌race,‌ ‌is‌ ‌used.‌ ‌ ‌
But‌ ‌if‌ ‌that’s‌ ‌not‌ ‌forthcoming,‌ ‌it‌ ‌would‌ ‌definitely‌ ‌send‌ ‌Asian‌ ‌Americans‌ ‌a‌ ‌harsh‌ ‌message‌ ‌of‌ ‌our‌ ‌
real‌ ‌value‌ ‌in‌ ‌this‌ ‌country.‌ ‌
It‌ ‌will‌ ‌also‌ ‌test‌ ‌the‌ ‌community’s‌ ‌strength‌ ‌and‌ ‌courage.‌ ‌What‌ ‌will‌ ‌our‌ ‌response‌ ‌be‌ ‌then?‌ ‌Will‌ ‌
others‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌BIPOC‌ ‌feel‌ ‌our‌ ‌pain,‌ ‌join‌ ‌us‌ ‌in‌ ‌alliance,‌ ‌and‌ ‌speak‌ ‌with‌ ‌one‌ ‌voice‌ ‌in‌ ‌unison‌ ‌against‌ ‌
these‌ ‌crimes?‌ ‌
Or‌ ‌will‌ ‌AAPI‌ ‌be‌ ‌left‌ ‌wondering‌ ‌how‌ ‌we‌ ‌get‌ ‌justice‌ ‌for‌ ‌our‌ ‌six‌ ‌sisters‌ ‌killed‌ ‌in‌ ‌Atlanta?‌ ‌ ‌
Soon‌ ‌Chung‌ ‌Park.‌ ‌
Hyun‌ ‌Jung‌ ‌Grant.‌ ‌
Suncha‌ ‌Kim.‌ ‌
Yong‌ ‌Ae‌ ‌Yue.‌ ‌
Xiaojie‌ ‌Tan.‌ ‌
Daoyou‌ ‌Feng.‌ ‌
They‌ ‌are‌ ‌our‌ ‌dead,‌ ‌the‌ ‌latest‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌sad‌ ‌narrative‌ ‌of‌ ‌Asian‌ ‌Americans‌ ‌in‌ ‌this‌ ‌country‌ ‌since‌ ‌the‌ ‌
19th‌ ‌Century,‌ ‌the‌ ‌agonizing‌ ‌history‌ ‌of‌ ‌recycled‌ ‌hate.‌ ‌
Emil‌ ‌Guillermo‌ ‌is‌ ‌a‌ ‌journalist‌ ‌and‌ ‌commentator.‌ ‌He’s‌ ‌a‌ ‌veteran‌ ‌Bay‌ ‌Area‌ ‌media‌ ‌person‌ ‌and‌ ‌a‌ ‌
former‌ ‌host‌ ‌of‌ ‌NPR’s‌ ‌“All‌ ‌Things‌ ‌Considered.”‌ ‌Go‌ ‌to‌ ‌his‌ ‌blog‌ ‌at‌ ‌‌www.amok.com‌‌ ‌for‌ ‌an‌ ‌
interview‌ ‌with‌ ‌Oakland‌ ‌playwright‌ ‌Ishmael‌ ‌Reed‌ ‌about‌ ‌Reed’s‌ ‌new‌ ‌play‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌exploitation‌ ‌of‌ ‌
Jean-Michel‌ ‌Basquiat.‌ ‌ ‌

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