Portland Monthly, April 12, 2021
On March 16, eight people were murdered in Atlanta, six of whom were Asian American women—Hyun Jung Grant, 51, Soon Chung Park, 74, Suncha Kim, 69, Yong Ae Yue, 63, Xiaojie Tan, 49, Daoyou Feng, 44, Paul Andre Michels, 54, and Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33. This was a hate crime against the Asian American community.
Harassment and violence against Asian Americans has increased significantly over the past year nationwide with Stop AAPI Hate gathering reports of 3,795 hate incidents , and Oregon is no exception. It was founded as a whites-only state, with racial exclusionary laws that made it difficult for people of color to live in Oregon well into the 20th century. Then there were the U.S’s Chinese Exclusion Acts—which especially targeted Asian women who were suspected to be sex workers. Today, AAPI citizens make up 4 percent of Oregon’s electorate, and the state has seen an 86 percent growth rate in AAPI’s population since 2000.
After the shootings in Atlanta, members of Oregon’s AAPI community gathered outside Revolution Hall to call on Oregonians and Americans to learn the names of the Atlanta victims and support anti-hate legislation put forth by congress—the Jabara-Heyer No Hate Act, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, and the HR8 Background Checks Act, which would enact a necessary background check prior to gun sales between private sellers.