The US Values Asian Work More Than Asian Lives
Monterey Park hero awarded medal of courage, invited to Biden’s State of Union
“Asian Americans recorded the fastest population growth rate among all racial and ethnic groups in the United States, study finds.”
While this statistic may seem optimistic, there’s more to the story. The growth of the Asian American population in the U.S. has occurred in tandem with increased reports of discrimination and violence since the start of the coronavirus outbreak.
As our community grows, we are getting louder, we are telling our authentic stories…and we are making news headlines.
So welcome to Crushing the Myth, a weekly newsletter that breaks down the latest AAPI news & newsmakers.
Explore achievements from our community, videos to keep you on the edge of your seat, new Asian celebs to stan, and a whole lot more.
🏆 The Headlines
The US Values Asian Work More Than Asian Lives — S. Mitra Kalita for TIME
“I would only hire Asians if I could,” a professor once told me. “You all are so hard-working.”She meant it as a compliment.
Her words came back to me last week, as Asians were the victims of two mass shootings in California: at a dance studio in Monterey Park and at two farms a mile apart in Half Moon Bay. In both cases, the suspects are older Asian men.
The attacks come during an existential moment for Asian communities—and an America historically conflicted over our presence. The initial December 2019 reports of a novel coronavirus in Wuhan, China, unleashed a spate of hate crimes in the US. Between 2020 and 2021, anti-Asian violence rose by 339%, according to California State University Santa Barbara’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism. The passage of time has not helped much; more Americans now blame Asian Americans for Covid than at the height of the pandemic in 2020.
And the perception affects Asians at work, both in day-to-day treatment and prospects for ascension. A study from the global think tank Coqual finds one in three Asian and Asian American professionals have experienced racial prejudice, and Asians report facing microaggressions at higher rates than other races.
That Asians are struggling mightily in the workplace might surprise well-meaning folks like my former professor. Except her perception of Asians being diligent and dutiful is precisely a part of the problem: To some, Asian work matters more than Asian lives.
Monterey Park hero awarded medal of courage, invited to Biden’s State of Union — “The carnage would have been so much worse had it not been for Brandon Tsay,” said Rep. Judy Chu (D, CA-28)
The man hailed as a hero for disarming the Monterey Park mass shooting suspect was awarded a medal of courage and invited to attend President Joe Biden’s upcoming State of the Union address.
Brandon Tsay, 26, wrestled a gun away from 72-year-old Huu Can Tran at Lai Lai Ballroom & Studio in Alhambra, California, minutes after the latter allegedly killed 10 people at Star Ballroom Dance Studio in neighboring Monterey Park on the eve of Lunar New Year.
Tsay recalled the struggle in an interview with “Good Morning America”:
I was able to pull the gun away from him, shove him aside, create some distance, point the gun at him, intimidate him and say, “Get the hell out of here. I’ll shoot. Get away! Go!” At this point, I thought he would run away, but he was just standing here contemplating whether to fight or run away.
Tran was found dead hours after the incident with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Days later, an 11th victim succumbed to their injuries.
Tsay was awarded a medal of courage by the City of Alhambra on Sunday, coinciding with Lunar New Year celebrations.
Asian Americans can no longer be silent on gun laws. — We must confront threat on our community.
Amid the horror of the mass shooting in Monterey Park, California, was an astounding act of courage. Brandon Tsay, who was working at a nearby dance studio in Alhambra, disarmed the man who had just taken the lives of 11 Asian Americans.
It was a selfless act that saved many lives the night of Jan. 21. But when told he had been called a hero, Tsay said, "A lot of people have been telling me how much courage I had. ... But you know what courage is? Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the ability to have adversity to fear when fearful events happen.”
This idea, that courage isn’t a lack of fear but the ability to act in spite of it, is representative of our larger Asian American and Pacific Islander community. It is indicative of the experience of so many who have shown bravery in the face of violence, injustice and hatred, from early AAPI civil rights pioneers to those fighting the latest wave of anti-Asian hate.
This moment calls for all of us – our community, our leaders and our elected officials – to bring that courage to conversations about ending gun violence in order to protect the AAPI community.
🚹 The Asian male celeb fan corner
Henry Golding’s looks — he’s “the most handsome” Asian man in the world, according to the Golden Ratio
Dave Bautista’s wish — ‘Am I that unattractive?’: Dave Bautista really wants to be a rom-com lead
Daniel Dae Kim’s POV — he says the success of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ has inadvertently hampered Asian-led films
🥢 Nom nom news
ft. woks — Can you cook in a wok without a gas stove? Asian Americans are having a heated debate.
ft. Asian restaurants — Pandemic-era stigma cost Asian restaurants $7.4B in lost revenue, new study finds
ft. Yelp reviews — Yelp sees sharp increase in anti-Asian reviews
👎 Thumbs down
Blogilates founder to Shein — Blogilates founder accuses fast fashion label Shein of stealing her skirt design
Filipinos to the latest virtual model — Filipinos slam Philippines’ first virtual model for not looking Filipino
✍️, Lea @ Crushing the Myth