I have several friends of Asian descent here in East Texas. One is of Chinese descent, two are Korean, and several others are Vietnamese. They've expressed concerns over the last year, as some ill-intentioned people have berated or mocked them, spit at them--blaming them unfairly for the Coronavirus pandemic.

But after last Tuesday's shooting rampage in Atlanta where six Asian women were murdered, their concerns have understandably escalated to alarm. For some, this is the first time they've ever felt unsafe in their own city.

East Texans of Asian descent aren't the only ones, though.

Across the state of Texas, Asian-Americans have been voicing their concern. The Texas Tribune reports that one San Antonio resident, Mike Nguyen, doesn't even feel safe going outside. He'd been receiving death threats in the recent past and has experience moments of trepidation that have been emotionally paralyzing.

"I can't even go out and help a fellow person in the community because I'm afraid that I might get attacked," Nguyen said according to the Texas Tribune.

A restaurant owner, Nguyen had voiced his opposition to the lifting of the statewide mask mandate. Since then, his place of business has been vandalized with spray-painted racist slurs.

The murderous rampage in Atlanta, as heartbreakingly tragic as it was, wasn't the first act of violence committed against Asian Americans--Texans, too. Many feel that referring to the Covid-19 virus as the "Chinese virus," as was done by our former President and other government officials, has contributed to this violence.

If you'd like to help the Asian-American community and show your support, there's an organization called Stop AAPI Hate. It was founded recently during the pandemic as a hub so that Asian-Americans, Pacific Islanders, and supportive allies, could report incidents of racism against their community.

They've received 3,795 reported incidents and 68% of those were against Asian women.

This blatantly unfair and has to stop. Hate, like Covid-19, is a virus. And it's contagious. If only there were a mask that would protect our fellow Texans from hate.

Gabrielle Henderson, Unsplash

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