The trial of Derek Chauvin in connection with the death of George Floyd started on March 29, and it brought back so many memories from May 25 and the weeks afterwards.The fear, the pain and the lack of shock.
I haven’t been able to bring myself to actually watch the trial live, but I follow it through news nuggets from a few different places.
This trial has me thinking about the increased racism towards the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. I can’t help but think about the pain, fear and possible lack of shock many AAPI people are feeling right now.
In the last year overall hate crimes have gone down in major cities according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, but that same study found an increase in hate crimes directed at AAPI individuals to be about 150%.
I think about days like when George Floyd, or Breonna Taylor died and feel my heart breaking. I remember days like when Tamir Rice or Sandra Bland were killed and I fight back tears. I can only imagine that for those who are a part of the AAPI community that it is a similar feeling when the shooting in Atlanta happened when Suncha Kim or Hyun Jung Grant were pronounced dead.
The trial of Derek Chauvin has been hard on me. I reflect about the things I do to mitigate poor interactions with police. Whether it’s making sure I put my phone in the space between my cupholders and parking brake, or try to have someone else in the car with me when I’m driving at night whenever possible.
I wonder about the coping mechanisms AAPI have been implementing just to feel like they’re surviving in a place that’s screaming they don’t want them around or even exist in the first place.
The needs and experiences of Black people and AAPI are obviously different, but when I think about what is going on in the world, I can’t help but think about the similarities between our struggles for equity.
I definitely don’t have the answers, though I do think it’s fruitful and necessary for Black people and AAPI to work together to make all lives better.