Penn Live

Asian American leaders, racial justice advocates say ‘sense of urgency’ needed to combat hate crimes, racism

For the past year or so Asian Americans have been negotiating belligerence, intimidation and even violence from members of their community. But the hatred is nothing new. Asian Americans in this country have long been the target of xenophobia, racism and scapegoating – from micro-aggressions in the workplace, stereotyping in Hollywood, to outright blatant acts of ethnic isolation and violence.

Dr. Walter Palmer, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy and Practice, laid out how the parallel histories of racism toward the Black community and the Asian American community are motivated by the same hatred.

“You don’t have to be Black or Asian American or other in order to feel pain and hurt when that takes place, when these things happen,” said Palmer. who shared his own experience of organizing a community effort decades ago to help his Philadelphia community solve the murder of a young Asian American man.