BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Since the start of the pandemic, Asian and Asian Americans in our country have seen an increase in racist rhetoric towards their community. And with recent racist attacks in the bay area and the shootings in Atlanta, more are asking what can be done to help make our neighbors feel safe.
With the increase in racist violence and crimes against Asians and Asian Americans, the community is encouraging people that if they hear something, say something.
“It’s heartbreaking for me to see that these crimes are going on around our country,” said Nina Ha, president of the Bakersfield Chinese Women's Club.
Nina Ha, president of the Bakersfield Chinese Women's Club is originally from Taiwan, and since the start of the pandemic, her family and friends have faced racist and hurtful comments.
“My 15-year-old daughter had a friend at school make a comment that she and two of her Asian friends had the coronavirus. She immediately said to him, that is not funny and it is very hurtful.”
According to data compiled by the California State University, there has been an increase of almost 150% incidents of anti-Asian American hate crimes in 2020 throughout the country.
“Personally I don’t think that anyone should have to live in fear, I don’t think it is right for people to not feel like they can go on a walk. Things like that should be our god-given right.”
For Nina, the news of the increase of hate towards the Asian-American community is painful, but she believes that coming together could help end the hatred.
“Right now there are so many people in the Asian-American community who are hurting and frustrated, angry and they need answers so the best thing we can do is just partner with them, check in on them and see how they are doing.”
Nina encourages others to become allies, by supporting Asian-American-owned businesses and checking in on friends and family, there are also resources available such as mental health resources for those who may have suffered from racial inequality or just need someone to talk to.
“I think it really just comes down to, looking within ourselves and praying for change and demanding change.”