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‘Whiteness is the badge that we will never possess’: Readers on the hate Asians experience

A person holding a "Stop Anti-Asian Racism Now!" sign leaves flowers at a memorial
Flowers are left at a makeshift memorial Thursday during a demonstration in Atlanta opposing violence against Asian Americans.
(Getty Images)

To the editor: Born in the U.S. to immigrant parents from the Philippines, my sisters and I learned the values that they knew would equip us to realize their dreams in this country. Education was foremost, and we were taught to respect all people and honor our elders. (“Man, 21, charged with murder in Atlanta-area spa shootings,” March 17)

My parents were right — my sisters and I all became professionals.

But the one thing that has been out of reach for us is now being analyzed in the media because of rising anti-Asian hate crimes and the shootings in Georgia: equality for people of color.

Whiteness is the badge that we will never possess, and that somehow makes us less. Until whiteness — no matter one’s education, profession or social standing — is no longer the measure of one’s worth, this country will witness hate crimes.

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An essential lesson starts in the home and at school: We are people who share values and dreams, and being white should not privilege anyone.

Lenore Navarro Dowling, Los Angeles

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To the editor: Hate is insidious. There is no excuse for hateful actions. The 1982 murder of Chinese American Vincent Chin in Michigan was blamed on the killers’ perception that he was Japanese during the Detroit auto industry slump.

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Blaming Asian Americans for the virus that started in Wuhan, China, is merely a way to justify hate and allow festered hate to rear its ugly head.

Politicians should not use this tragedy in playing the blame game. We need to work together to help unify our country as one nation under God.

Ann Lau, Torrance

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To the editor: Male law enforcement officers fed soundbites into the news media following the Georgia mass killing of eight persons, including six Asian women.

One explained that the killer had a bad day. Another announced that the killer confessed, with a motive of wanting to rid his “sexual addiction.”

In the 19th century, American lawmakers solidified Chinese exclusion policies, and they included the argument that such laws would prevent the importation of female prostitutes. In 2021, I hear a throwback to that mindset that equates Asian women with prostitution and sexual temptation.

All women whose heritages are Asian, Asian American and Pacific Islander are potentially caught in the quagmire.

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Betty Uyeda, Whittier

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To the editor: All the media are wasting money, space and time and creating huge carbon footprints trying to figure out the motives behind mass killings.

Do we take the suspect’s word for it? What would we do with accurate information anyway? Would we brain scan every man, woman and child, then either lock away or force treatment on those with certain traits before they act? Society surely wouldn’t stand for such profiling.

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So how about keeping it simple? Focus on the crime itself, and when it’s obvious who the perpetrator is, deliver justice quickly.

Michael Tanouye, Santa Monica

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To the editor: That mixing guns and hate makes for a “bad day” is an unbelievable understatement.

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Mental health problems and racism have been with us a long time. Give people weapons, and these problems become extremely lethal.

I can truly empathize with Asian Americans who are being targeted right now. But let’s not forget how many churches, synagogues, airports, concerts and schools have been targeted by shooters.

As an American, I am not proud of our gun culture.

Beverly Lever, Calabasas

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To the editor: When Robert Aaron Long goes on trial for the murder of eight people, six of whom were Asian women, sitting next to him as co-defendant should be former President Trump.

We should not be surprised by such acts, as he promoted hate and sometimes even violence for years. With him, by proxy, should be the entire Republican Party, which has blood on its hands for supporting such evil.

Randy Pommerenk, Lancaster


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