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With the recent horrid and abhorrent act that took the lives of 8 people and wounding 1 in Atlanta, Georgia, I deemed it appropriate to organize my thoughts on the ongoing issue. Being an Asian American in Iowa has come with its own challenges, from being made fun of in elementary school for how my eyes looked and into the present where I receive glares and dirty looks just from being Asian. Instances as those are simply a reminder of my Asian American identity in Iowa.

Over the past few months, I have researched, reported, and written about the rise of Asian hate crimes and the lack of media coverage nationwide. This research has enabled me to gain insight and connect some patterns with the rise of hate crimes towards Asians within the United States. Yet with the recent assertions from established media and prominent Democrat leaders calling the latest instance in Atlanta and thousands of other hate crimes across the country ‘white supremacy,’ while blaming the GOP and Trump for the attacks; I can’t help but feel those arguments are misguided and inconsistent.

It is apparent that the recent tragedy within the Asian community is being used as political gain and leverage to push rhetoric of blame.

Although the recent alleged hate instances against Asian Americans since last summer have been committed by white assailants, it is ignorant to blame only one race when clearly nonwhite assailants have done the same. Some of the viral posts circulating online around the alleged crimes are in fact done by non-white individuals.

In a segment on the Tucker Carlson Tonight show, Ying Ma, author of Chinese Girl In The Ghetto, commented on the recent rise of hate crimes.  “-I don’t doubt that to some extent the Covid virus has increased hostility or resentment or racist attitudes among some white people, however in the most horrific attacks that we’ve seen on video widely available to the public time and time again the attackers are not white-.”

There appears to be a continued lack of historical and present-day foundation about Asian and African American relations and Caucasian and Asian relations, an issue that must be addressed to move forward as a country.

Yet instead of uniting an already politically contentious nation, within the last few days, prominent Democrats nationwide are instead using the Asian community as a springboard to push their own political agenda to bash Republicans. These attacks are unfounded and repulsive. Democrats are merely using the national tragedy to attack those opposite of the political aisle at the expense of Asian Americans.

Before any claims and assertions are sent into the stratosphere of public opinion, let the ongoing investigation in Atlanta, Georgia continue for all the facts to be laid out. This isn’t about blaming one race or one party for the ongoing racism and discrimination against Asian Americans daily.

Parisian politics is natural for our Democratic Republic, but to use the Asian community as a catalyst to divide the country further into race war is not how you unite a country, let alone gain the Asian American vote.

Author: Caleb Lillquist