Stare straight ahead. Walk with purpose. Don’t engage.

“Ni hao, beautiful.”

Go away. Go away. Go away.

“Hey! I said, ‘Ni hao!’”

Now he’s following me. “Hello! I’m talking to you!”

When he grabs my arm, I worry he might bruise it. Or break it.

“Where are you from, sexy?”

“Stop. Go away.”

He’s startled by my American accent. “What? You don’t want a compliment? C’mon, I thought you and I might get a happy ending.”

This type of exchange happens every summer in New York City if you’re an Asian woman walking down a public street. The winter is nice because you can wrap yourself in a sleeping bag-sized coat and throw your hood over your head. They can’t sexualize you if they can’t see any part of your body.

On March 16, 2020, former President Donald Trump tweeted the term “Chinese virus” to refer to COVID-19, causing the hashtag to increase by a mind-numbing 8,351% from the previous week. Fifty percent of those tweets contained anti-Asian sentiment. And as we all know, hate doesn’t stay online. Hate crimes targeting Asian Americans have since increased by 150% nationwide and 833% in New York City alone. Crimes against Asian women made up 68% of those reports.

The shooter who killed eight people — six of whom were Asian women — at three Asian spas in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 16th, 2021 told authorities that he had a “sexual addiction,” and that the spas were “a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate.” Charging this attack as a hate crime would make it possible to punish the shooter more severely, which is likely why he denied race as his motive. Or perhaps he truly believes he “doesn’t see color.” Either way, is he the person we should be asking?

Read the full article about anti-asian racism by Liann Kaye at Global Citizen.