Opinion: Hate turned my Asian-American mom into a shut-in. This isn’t the country she left her homeland for #Breaking112
It’s not because of the virus as Covid-19 continues to rage in my home state of California. It’s because she is absolutely certain that as an older Asian woman with a limp she will be targeted by violence.
Since the horrific news of the Atlanta shootings broke, I’ve been stuck in this simmering rage while following events from afar here in Hong Kong. I can’t hug my American family and friends. I can only communicate through screens and doomscroll online.
This is the kind of thinking that feeds into the sickening stereotype that Asian Americans are “TOTALLY FINE” and not being targeted by racist violence.
How many more members of the community have to be assaulted, attacked or slaughtered before this is widely recognized?
Back in February last year, my mom started to self-isolate during the outbreak just to avoid the comments and stares she received while wearing a mask outside.
She told me on FaceTime with a self-deprecating chuckle, “It’s allergy season too. I’m too afraid of sneezing or ‘coughing while Asian.'”
But the micro-aggressions continued: people coughing in her general direction, someone saying “you must be from Wuhan,” another asking, “Why are Asians so paranoid?”
And I find myself dreaming of being able to teleport my mom here to Asia.
She could wear a mask without being judged.
She could venture out to her favorite beef noodle restaurant without fear of being knocked down.
She could be left alone and perhaps, even respected.
But what I lapped up to be an “Equalizer” moment of street justice, my mom saw as another tragic example of hate and discrimination.
She points out the telling details in the video showing how the attacker is on a stretcher and receiving medical care while the woman, screaming and crying, is left alone nursing her wounds and her trauma.
“This poor old woman could have been me,” my mom tells me.
And she’s absolutely right.