Social Justice for All

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https://ciera.northwestern.edu/programs/social-justice-initiative/

Racism has been going on for as long as history dates back.  People of different ethnicities are living in fear of being attacked, and are constantly being treated differently, now more than ever.  This has always been a problem in the U.S., affecting all ethnicities, particularly African American and Asians. These prejudice actions have been controlled and reduced for quite some time now, but multiple cases of racism have started to rise again in the summer of 2020.  George Floyd’s death created an uproar from the African American community, causing peaceful riots and protests from them, but rude and cruel actions from the opposing side.  Following the peaceful protests, Americans started blaming the entire asian community for “creating/causing” COVID, when it was a simple mistake.

From recent news, the COVID-19 pandemic has created various opinions about different ethnicities and their rights.  In early 2020, when shelter in was just executed, a lot of people developed the habits of spreading their ideas on numerous topics over multiple social media platforms such as TikTok, Instagram and Twitter.  This initially caused the start of the 2020 racism acts, attacking small creators in their posts’ comment sections, telling them rude and hateful things.  Having been small creators, it did not bring much attention to the public, but once the unfair death of George Floyd hit social media and the news, the issue of racism was magnified for the African Americans.  They are tired of witnessing unjustified deaths by the hands of authority figures, like police officers.  

Similar to the African American community, the Asian community is also experiencing racism since the pandemic.  Being blamed for wanting/starting COVID, the last 12 months have had many unreported cases of elderly asian abuse and assault in public.  However, in the last 3 months, the case numbers of assault escalated, coming closer to home, drawing more attention to social media and the news. 

A big part of racism in the U.S. started when African Americans started being sold and shipped to the U.S. to become slaves.  Although slavery ended on December 6, 1865, that didn’t mean that racism ended with it.  To this day, African Americans are still being killed by policemen due to the color of their skin.  Black mothers are afraid their sons could get kneeled onto the ground, and questioned about whether or not they are innocent for a crime they didn’t commit, unsure if they will be let go alive.  For example, “One evening nine years ago 17-year-old Trayvon Martin was walking through a Florida neighborhood with candy and iced tea when a vigilante pursued him and ultimately shot him dead,” says Janet Currie, an author for the Scientific American website.  From these recent peaceful protests and riots, the African American community (and people of other ethnicities supporting them) has come up with the word, BLM which stands for Black Lives Matter. The goal was to raise awareness and call for equality. 

Currently in the year 2021, many Asians are being attacked for “starting the Coronavirus pandemic”, when it was never anyone’s fault, except for a pure mistake.  People are calling Asians “virus” as though it is a fitting nickname.  People have started assaulting and physically attacking Asians, and even done drive by shootings in asian neighborhoods or stores/shopping centers.   Just recently, a man was found guilty of killing about 6 Asian Americans at a spa/nail shop, and his reasoning was because “He was having a bad day”.  “Having a bad day” doesn’t justify the fact that a man killed 6 innocent people just because of their ethnicity.  No matter the type of asian, Korean, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese, etc., they are targeting, even if they are nowhere close to the  initial and accidental cause.

Although slavery has ended many years ago, racism still exist in modern day.  In recent tragedies, racism has surfaced once again towards the African American community, also targeting the Asian Americans.  The BLM protest achieved their goals of enlightening the world of their worries, while the pandemic contributed to the uprising of the Asian communities’ awareness of assault.   The year 2020 marked a historical rise in racism toward the African American and Asian communities.  In light of these issues, many people have come together to voice their concerns towards resolving racism.