When a gunman opened fire at three different Georgia spas Tuesday, killing eight people, including six Asian women, it sent shockwaves through Dallas business owner June Chow.
“There’s this model minority trope. People feel that’s the shield that protects them. And I feel like discrimination and racism are sorts of that wrecking ball spares no one,” Chow said.
Research released this week by the group Stop AAPI Hate revealed nearly 3,800 incidents were reported over the course of roughly a year during the pandemic. It’s a significantly higher number than last year's count of about 2,800 hate incidents nationwide over the span of five months.
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Women made up a far higher share of the reports, at 68%, compared to men, who made up 29% of respondents.
Both federal and local investigators are still diving into the motive behind Tuesday's killings.
“I was shocked, sad, extremely angry and afraid,” said Jan Xie, president of the Asian Culture and Education Society in North Texas
She said she is working to educate people about the harm of painting people with racist labels.
“We are not the enemy. We are not Kung flu, we’re not the Chinese virus. We’re not the Wuhan virus,” Xie said.
She shared pictures of Asian organizations and groups who dropped off hundreds of meals and masks to front-line workers battling COVID-19.
Her friend, Beverly Hill, spoke of her commitment to helping others.
“It was Jan in her community who provided thousands of dollars worth of PPE, at their expense, to our medical centers,” Hill said.
Xie said she hoped sharing her story would remind people that Asian Americans are also Americans.
“I’m sad because we work hard and contribute to America,” Xie said.
She said she planned to continue to educate people through the Asian foundations and organizations of which she is a part.