After the murders of eight people in Atlanta last week, six of whom were women of Asian descent, I was and remain profoundly shaken. I am an American female CEO of Asian descent, who moved to the United States from Asia exactly 45 years ago. As I reflect on the wave of anti-Asian hate that has consumed the United States, I find myself asking, “Still?”
I am not asking “Why did it happen?” Or, as many cry out on social media, “How could this happen?” No. AAPI and BIPOC communities know—and have known for generations—all about the “why” and we shake our heads when well-meaning humans lament on the “how.” Instead, with anguish, I simply wonder, “Still?”
Are we still in a space where Asian women are hyper sexualized and objectified, where Asians are pushed to the side, ignored, or erased altogether from conversations around race and hate? Still in a space where Asians are so casually and comfortably mocked, intimidated, and then blamed for the hate that is directed at them?
In response, I am choosing—together with my colleagues at Volta Talent Strategies, and Thine Solutions—to claim a different space. A space shared by my AAPI brothers and sisters, replete with sadness, survival, and focused resolve. We’re STILL here. And we commit to doing all that is necessary to get us closer to the WHEN:
When we acknowledge that Asian hate is real, toxic and pervasive: on the street, on our social media pages, on television shows and movies that stream in our homes, in our children’s classrooms, at our jobs and in the legal industry.
When we embrace our responsibility as Upstanders and inhabit allyship every single time we see, hear or sense Asian hate.
When we demolish systemic racism that cultivates and breeds racial hierarchies, and perpetuates deeply harmful myths like the model minority.
We hope you will stand with us NOW. There is still so much work to be done. And we're not sitting still.