Asians Must Stop Comparing Our Issues to Black Lives Matter
Doing so only hurts both the Black and Asian communities
Last week, Laura Huang, an author and associate professor at Harvard Business School, addressed in a tweet the exponential rise in anti-Asian hate crimes over the past year. “I want to see how passionately people (incl other POC) will stand up for Asians,” she wrote. “Those of you who were so vocal w BLM, where are you on the 1900% increase in Asian-directed hate crimes?”
These hate crimes, such as the assault of a 64-year-old grandmother in San Jose, California, earlier this month and the murder of 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee shortly before, are part of a wave of violence toward older Asian Americans that has made the past year ever more frightening and cast a dark shadow over the Lunar New Year at the end of last week. Huang’s remarks are just the latest from a growing number of prominent Asian voices to express frustration on social media over the crisis level of anti-Asian violence and how seldom it breaks through into mainstream discourse. But in Huang’s case, the tweet sparked more issues than it addressed.
Her tweet, according to her critics, exemplifies a tendency to contrast public responses to anti-Asian racism with public responses to anti-Blackness, as if to suggest people care only about anti-Blackness. And this, Huang’s critics contend, is a form of anti-Blackness in its own right.
“You have GOT to stop bringing in BLM and Black people whenever these horrific things happen,” replied writer Katherine D. Morgan. “Stop it. Stop comparing us to this situation. You sound anti-Black.”
“Talking about how both Asian and Black communities experience violence can be helpful in showing how much our communities have in common when it comes to battling white supremacy.”
“I say this with ALL due respect; you can amplify your cause without directly incorporating another,” wrote another Twitter user. “What is happening in the Asian community is horrific and needs to be addressed. So address that only.”