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BGSU professor says education reform vital to stop Asian American microaggressions

Dr. Ha of BGSU says divisive culture is built over time, and we must educate our youth at a young age.
Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 6:10 AM EDT
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BOWLING GREEN, Ohio (WTVG) - The increase of hate crimes among the Asian American population has advocacy groups speaking out, and here in Northwest Ohio, a BGSU professor shares how we can support the cause, starting with education.

Dr. Louisa Ha, a professor of Media and Communications at BGSU, said racism didn’t start with COVID-19, it just got worse. In order to make real change, Dr. Ha said we need to start on an internal and local level in our schools.

Dr. Ha recommends schools build a curriculum on Asian American history, as well as the discrimination against Asians in the past and present world.

There are 261 Asian students at BGSU, not including international students, which makes up only 1.4% of the student population. Dr. Ha says while they may not be hate crimes, Asian students are facing microaggressions across the nation that need to stop.

“They did not feel welcome. A lot of times, I feel like they did not feel welcome or felt isolated,” Dr. Ha said. “For Asian American students, I think that there are very few here, not that many, and if they are here, they oftentimes don’t feel that welcomeness and they have to adjust themselves.”

Dr. Ha said we must acknowledge Asians who grew up in America for generations and acknowledge that stereotypes, whether positive or negative, will only reinforce racisms, and that microaggressions over time is what leads to hate crimes. She recommends reading articles and watching films produced by Asian Americans, including the PBS Documentary, “Asian Americans,” now streaming online.

“We don’t need to see actual crime, like killing someone to see discrimination. The discrimination actually exists in daily life. I think that’s very important for people to remember. If we wait until someone shoots someone or kills someone – it’s too late,” Dr. Ha shares.

Ana Brown, Director of Multicultural Affairs, shares BGSU’s official statement on the school’s stance on these issues.

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