Opinion | Why It’s Taken Us So Long to Talk About Anti-Asian Racism

Produced by ‘Sway’

This week, a Filipino woman was attacked in Midtown Manhattan during broad daylight. This assault came on the heels of the Atlanta-area shooting in which six women of Asian descent were killed and amid reports of rising crime against Asians. One group, Stop AAPI Hate, received nearly 3,800 accounts of incidents nationally between March 19, 2020, and Feb. 28.

The poet and author Cathy Park Hong notes that these events have set off outrage in the Asian-American community. Her essay collection “Minor Feelings: An Asian-American Reckoning” wrestles with how discrimination against Asians is often left out in conversations about race in the United States. “We have also been victims to systemic racism throughout history,” Ms. Hong says, “but we have been conditioned to pretend that it doesn’t exist, to minimize it.”

On this episode of “Sway,” Kara Swisher and Ms. Hong talk about the “model minority” myth, the Atlanta-area shootings and why the response from Asian-Americans is different this time. They also discuss WeChat, KakaoTalk and why global social media sites like Facebook have done little to curb misinformation in immigrant communities.

Thoughts? Email us at [email protected] Transcripts of each episode are available midday.

Special thanks to Shannon Busta and Liriel Higa.

“Sway” is produced by Nayeema Raza, Blakeney Schick, Heba Elorbany, Matt Kwong and Daphne Chen, and edited by Nayeema Raza and Paula Szuchman; fact-checking by Kate Sinclair; music and sound design by Isaac Jones; mixing by Erick Gomez.

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