Berkeley expert: In times of crisis, anti-Asian violence is an American tradition
Tuesday’s mass shootings at a string of massage parlors in the Atlanta area left eight people dead, including six people of Asian descent. Investigators have not confirmed a motive, but those killings — along with a rise in anti-Asian attacks in major cities — are an unsurprising reminder of the long history of anti-Asian violence in America, said UC Berkeley Asian American studies associate professor Lok Siu.
And that violence, often driven by anti-Asian xenophobia, has become a structural American practice during times of crisis.
“Anti-Asian racism in this country just gets a new face-lift from time to time,” said Siu, who is an expert in Asian diasporas and transnationalism and has studied the social climate that created anti-Asian sentiments during the pandemic. “The continual and persistent reinvocation of the deeply ingrained notion that Asian Americans are ‘outsiders’ and therefore (don’t belong) in the U.S., fuels anti-Asian sentiments and attacks during moments of social crisis or disruption.”