The Crusader staff
The recent attacks on eldery Asian citizens in the San Francisco Bay Area are demonstrating and contributing to the divide in the community, creating fear and anger.
In the beginning months of 2021, there have been many attacks on Asian citizens, primarily senior citizens. One of these incidents was a recent assault at the corner of Ocean and Plymouth avenues, very close to Riordan High School.
Some of these attacks resulted in death, other attacks robbery or assault. These attacks, although recently publicized, are really nothing new, as in early 2020 an Asian man collecting cans was attacked in San Francisco, his assailants yelling “I hate Asians.”
Melanie Aguas, Freshman Counselor and co-moderator of the Philipino American Coalition said, “The increase in anti-Asian violence and racism deeply affects our Riordan community. Students have voiced concern for their own safety and the safety of their loved ones, especially their elders.”
Despite the recent spike in attacks, or perhaps the reporting of them, Mary Ann Datoc, another moderator of the PAC Club, said she believes there has been some progression in combating hate crimes.
“In PAC, the officers and moderators presented a slide presentation about the Asian hate crimes, and we had a discussion with our members about how they feel about this issue,” she said. She added, “The fact we had a Race Forum is great for our community.”
Aguas added that they “discussed these issues and utilized our time together as a space to process our thoughts and feelings. Our conversations highlighted the importance of empathy, education, spreading awareness, and building community.”
In an effort to bring together the diverse communities in urban areas, from coast to coast, Oakland rapper “Mistah FAB” and New York City rapper “China Mac” recently joined together in search of a resolution, in an effort to unite the diverse communities in urban areas.
China Mac said, “We cannot allow anybody to come into our communities and do this to our elderly. This is our grandmothers and grandfathers.”
Mistah Fab added, “There are many people who stand in solidarity with us, against our adversity and our obstacles that we fight as black people. Here it is, our turn to show that we’re in solidarity with our Asian brothers and sisters.”
The duo is calling for new conversations to be opened, and unity amongst all.
In regards to what students and other members of the Riordan community can do, Datoc said, “The AAPI community can fight by creating a safe space for discussions about this, educating all students and adults about racism and violence.”
Aguas concluded, “We aim to have the AAPI community and non-AAPI communities stand in solidarity with each other in denouncing racism and hatred in all forms. There is no easy fix to racism, but educating each other and extending kindness towards our fellow humans are critical steps to make progress.”