Asian Americans Respond to the Tragedy in Charleston

The tragic events in Charleston, SC last week sent shockwaves across the country and has been a stark reminder that racism and hate is still very much alive in the United States. Experts and the public alike have been trying to make sense of why this tragedy occurred and what, or who, could have filled the killer, Dylann Roof, with so much hate that he had to commit this act of mass murder. The Asian American community has been very vocal with condemning the actions of Roof, his racial motivations echoing the Detroit killing of Vincent Chin 33 years ago this day. Here are some of their reactions:

AsAm News responds to Roof’s manifesto, which perversely identifies East Asians as potential allys.
“Don’t waste your time, Dylann Roof. Asian Americans are not your allies. We don’t want anything to do with you. Your nonsensical perverted thinking does not resonate in the Asian American community. We reject you and all you stand for.”

Activist blog Reappropriate calls for an appropriate response from the public and media in labeling this an act of terrorism
“As an Asian American and a woman of colour, I don’t understand how anyone can stand idly by and watch this happen. How can any moral person not be enraged by the relentless assault and murder of Black citizens, who are guilty of nothing more than going about their daily lives while wearing the colour of their skin? Do we really think we are not also stakeholders in this necessary fight for racial justice?”

Rafu Shimpo reports on the responses of APA political and community leaders to the mass shooting
“The Asian American and Pacific Islander community shares the pain of the black community in Charleston, as we have also experienced killings motivated by hate, including the murder of Vincent Chin almost 33 years ago today by Ronald Ebens and Michael Nitz,” said Michael W. Kwan, national president of OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates. “He, like the victims of this murderous rampage, had done nothing wrong except to be of a certain color and therefore a target in the mind of a racist killer. Make no mistake, this slaughter of innocents is an act of domestic terrorism designed to instill fear in communities of color and advance a white supremacist political agenda.”

How has the tragedy in Charleston affected your perspective on race, hate, and their institutionalized presence in our culture?


Sources: AsAm NewsReappropriateRafu Shimpo

Photo: Dallas Morning News