School Take on Asian Hate

McPherson Square, Washington D.C. OCA national and AAJC organized a Rally for Asian Hate. Photo Courtesy: Anja Voges, March 21, 2021.

McPherson Square, Washington D.C. OCA national and AAJC organized a Rally for Asian Hate. Photo Courtesy: Anja Voges, March 21, 2021.

Elizabeth Tran and Joseph DeFreitas

     Ever since the Covid-19 outbreak, discrimination among the Asian-American community, both nationally and locally, saw a significant increase. Stop AAPI Hate, a website tracking Asian hate crimes in the nation, highlighted just how prevalent the issue has been in recent months. 

     Between March 19 and December 31, 2020, AAPI Hate recorded 2,808 incidents of Asian discrimination. Behind these reported incidents, AAPI Hate concluded that 90.3% of them were racially motivated. 

     Milford’s Asian American community has been subject to such discrimination. Jay Yang, senior class vice president, had experienced racial remarks about his Asian heritage even before the explosion in spring 2020. 

     “There’s always been Asian hate, but because of Covid-19 it began being televised with far more recognition,” Yang says. 

     Yang recalls being subjected to harsh and insensitive comments because of his ehtnic background during elementary school. People making fun of his eyes, or his overall Asian appearance had become an everyday occurrence. 

     “Coming together and raising social awareness, by highlighting that we as a minority group are also being oppressed despite the toxic idea of the model minority.” Yang said. He believes that awareness, as well as destroying the idea of the model minority, is key to a long-term solution to discrimation against Asian-Americans.

     With more people speaking out on the struggles Asian-Americans face, not only after COVID-19 but for years past, a solution to the epidemic is hopefully coming into view. 

     The Milford School District has taken major steps towards creating a more inclusive and welcoming community for students not only of Asian descent, but of all ethnic backgrounds. 

     The district recently named Elba Llantin-Cruz as the new Instructional Supervisor of Equity and Engagement. The position will ensure the Board of Education’s resolution on race, equity and social justice is properly executed within all aspects of curriculum, instruction, assessment, policies, human resources, and operations. 

     “I analyze data about students to help further understand racial equity as a whole.” Llantin-Cruz says. Due to the novelty of her position, Llantin-Cruz’s main priority at the moment is to get a better understanding of how students feel, then build off of that feedback by bringing it to a committee of equity and engagement with both students and staff.

     As the district and students strive for change, hope for a solution to problem of Asian Hate, and discrimination as a whole, is seemingly brighter than its ever been. Although it would be unrealistic to expect the issue to be resolved, a new tone has been set for the standard society expects, especially in the Milford community.