Stories Behind the Silence: The Asian American Experience

Stories behind the silence

Originally published March 8, 2021. Updated March 17.

NOTE: SCROLL DOWN TO PLAY VIDEO (the above is just a placeholder image)

Let’s chat. Just in 2020 alone, anti-Asian hate crimes have increased by 1,900%.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, there has been a noticeable increase in the discrimination against Asian Americans. In fact, Tina Zhang, a senior at Woodinville High School in Washington State, described how “Just last week, a teacher in our own school district, Sensei Noriko Nasu (Inglemoor High School’s Japanese teacher and part-time teacher at Woodinville High School) was brutally attacked in Chinatown International District in Seattle and is currently hospitalized with multiple facial injuries.”

It is no secret how there has been an alarming rise in racism-fueled hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI). The xenophobic rhetoric that the previous administration pushed forward, like Kung-flu, the Chinese virus, and the Wuhan virus, have scapegoated Asian Americans as the cause of the pandemic.

However, many times, we undercover the stories of so many Asian American families because generations of government policies and rhetoric, harmful stereotypes, and misinformation continue to perpetuate anti-Asian racism to this day. Asian American voices have been silenced in this country for too long, without a safe space to speak up, and it’s about time we start talking about the truth behind the Asian American experience.

My friends, Tina Zhang and Ebunoluwa Akadiri, teamed up to host “Stories Behind the Silence: The Asian American Experience” to start this conversation with seven Asian American students across the country. In their 30-minute video, they discuss the following topics:

  • WHY you don’t hear about racism against Asian Americans
  • The harmful nature of the model minority myth
  • Overt anti-Asian racism since the pandemic started
  • What you can do to support the Asian American community

Please take 30 minutes from your day to learn from the conversation among these students to further understand the story of millions of Asian Americans in our nation. To access the video conversation: click below:

For more resources on how to support the Asian American community, visit

We must not turn a blind eye to blatant racism. As a nation, we can and must do better.

Ariel Zhou

Ariel is a student at Vestavia Hills High School and a member of the Springboarders program.

More Posts

You may also like

Leave a Reply