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Attacks on Asian Americans called a “national crisis”

A recent wave of nationwide attacks on Asian Americans has prompted visiting professor Joey Kim to use her platform as an educator and scholar to speak out against anti-Asian displays of racism.
Published: Feb. 26, 2021 at 9:56 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - University of Toledo Visiting Assistant English Professor and scholarly researcher Joey Kim has watched countless attacks on Asian Americans emerge over the last year.

“The history of xenophobia and anti-Asian sentiment is embedded in our history,” said Professor Kim.

According to advocacy group Stop Asian American Pacific Islander Hate, there have been over 3,000 incidents of attacks on Asian Americans since the start of the pandemic. Kim says the growing number of hate crimes and murders of Asian Americans should be seen as a countrywide emergency.

“This is an American issue, this is a civil rights issue,” said Kim. “We need to recognize these deaths as part of a national trauma and crisis.”

Kim believes COVID-19 opened the door for Asian discrimination here in the United States. She says when former President Donald Trump referred to the coronavirus as the ”Kung Flu” or “China Virus” it pinned a target on the backs of those with Asian descent living here.

“It created this sense of people wanting to trace COVID-19 to something and somebody,” said Kim.

How can this wave of violence, discrimination, and hate come to an end? Kim believes it can only come by speaking out. She says having voices be heard is the most powerful tool that can bring visibility and representation to all.

“Those of us who are suffering from these instances and microaggressions we can actually report them [online],” said Kim. “They received almost 3,000 reports nationally last year.”

Here in Toledo, the UT professor is using her job and curriculum as an educator to shape the next generation. She says by understanding the hate of today we can build a better future for tomorrow.

“I have a lot of hope for the future generations,” said Kim. “Those who look like me, we are a part of this more diverse fabric that’s rapidly changing.”

Professor Kim has a published article that was released this Friday that details the long history of oppression for Asian communities in the US.

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