has published a great article about anti-Asian rhetoric from the Orange Man, and others. Here are some excerpts. It makes me sad, since my parents and grandparents went through Relocation and incarceration (see tar paper barracks above) after Pearl Harbor. I often try to imagine how they felt, particularly when my Uncles (one pictured above) were drafted into the Army, to fight the very country from which they came. I sincerely hope we are not headed down this path again. Here:In the past several months, countless Asian Americans have been punched and kicked and threatened, told that they'll be sorry if they don't leave this country
— their country. They've been blamed for COVID-19: yelled at by strangers in parking lots, refused service at stores and needlessly, cruelly scapegoated by the most powerful man on the planet, President Donald Trump, who has racialized the pandemic and stoked xenophobia every time he's uttered the term "Chinese
virus."Deflecting blame for his own failure
to heed the warnings of experts to prepare for this crisis, Trump has stood in the White House briefing room day after day and pulled from the same cynical playbook he's relied on so many times before, stoking grievances and using the same politics of division
that helped him get elected in the first place, this time by casting Asian Americans as the "other."
As if they are a deviation from those who are "actually" American. As if they don't truly belong.The comments Trump has made have ranged from the dangerous to the absurd. But the sentiment behind them has been clear.The American story as we know it would not exist without the strength of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. In a literal sense, Asian Americans helped build and unite this country — laying the railroad tracks, tilling the fields, starting the businesses
and picking up the rifles
necessary to develop and defend the nation we love.
No insult, no insinuation — even when it comes from the president in the middle of the Rose Garden
telling an Asian American reporter to "ask China" — can change the fact that Asian Americans are just as American as anyone else lucky enough to be a daughter or a son of the United States.
Ironically, May marks Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. In the face of such intolerance, this month reminds us that it's as important as ever to honor the AAPI community's service to this country — as teachers, doctors, troops, you name it — as well as recognize the consequences of the fear-mongering and outright racism that have
been on the rise throughout Trump's presidency.
Because that's the kind of prejudice that led to Japanese Americans' being interned on U.S. soil even as their loved ones fought to defend this nation overseas during World War II.
It's a version of what we've seen in debates over everything from segregation to immigration, where those who aren't white are portrayed as if they're somehow dirty or dangerous or, now, contaminated — and then cast off as second-class citizens. In a nation founded on the principle that we're all created equal, such bigotry is downright un-American.
Each of those people understands our country better than Trump ever will. They understand that at its best, America is a roughly 3.8 million-square-mile community
whose members don't just want to do well for themselves, but to do good for others. No matter the color of their skin.
As our neighbors are spit on and beat up because of the color of their skin, it is more obvious than ever how important it is that we make this the last Asian American and Pacific Islander month with Trump in office.
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