It’s long past time to do something to end anti-Asian hate and violence

It’s Monday again — WHICH IS JUST RUDE.

Meet Jambalaya:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Jambalaya Michelada Alemagou (@jambalayafrench)


As you know by now, on Tuesday, March 16, a 21-year-old White man shot and killed eight people, six of whom were women of Asian descent, at three different massage parlors in the Atlanta area. At the present time, it is not being treated as a hate crime because … the murderer says it wasn’t? The short version is the killer claims he was motivated by his struggle with sexual addiction and that the women he murdered were sources of “temptation” and for some reason, that precludes him from having murdered them because of their race (even though it absolutely does not).

Also, I should note that the Cherokee County sheriff’s captain Jay Baker told reporters that the murderer was “fed up” and had a “bad day” because we must never underestimate White people’s ability to empathize with their fellow White people even when they’ve committed an inexplicable, monstrous crime.

Now, l am not the person to untangle the long sordid history of how Asian women, in particular, have been sexualized in horrifically dehumanizing ways in our culture  — and if you have no idea what I’m talking about, it’s long past time to educate yourself — but to dismiss their race in favor of their gender is ignorant at best, willfully hateful at worst. It can not be overlooked that this monster targeted Asian businesses — how is that not racially motivated?

The bottom line is whether or not the horrific shooting will be prosecuted as a hate crime, it came at a moment when hate crimes against Asian Americans have increased by 149% even while hate crimes overall have decreased by 7%. This piece written by Simu Liu decrying violence against Asians was published in Variety a week before this mass shooting. And In fact, the day after the shooting, a 76-year-old woman was punched in the face by some random dude in San Francisco (but the joke was on that fucker when she grabbed a two-foot stick and fought back, ultimately sending him to the hospital. This brave, powerful woman is donating all of the funds that were donated to a GoFundMe in her name to organizations combating Asian-American hate).

It is no wonder that the Asian-American Pacific Islander community is furious and scared and demanding that we all PAY ATTENTION.

Part of our problem is that unlike racism against Blacks or Latinos, there seems to be some weird reluctance to acknowledge that prejudices against Asians even exist in our culture.

Some of these failures have come from the people closest to us. So many white friends, family members, colleagues, partners, in-law relatives, and teachers have brushed away, minimized, or entirely ignored our growing alarm. One of the first white men with whom I brought up rising anti-Asian racism replied by asking if this racism was really even happening. I had just told him it was. The silences this week ring loud, in the texts we haven’t received, in the absences on social media, as the people who say they deeply love us, who have heard us talk about this, fail to wonder if we’re okay, fail to see if in this time of great collective sorrow it might be a good time to offer us some of that love.

And while it’s easy to point to the previous administration and its despicable use of terms like “China Virus” and “Kung Flu” as a means to deflect attention from their own shambolic response to the COVID-19 outbreak, we have to acknowledge that anti-Asian stereotypes and tropes have long existed in our culture, and racism against Asians began as soon as they arrived in America.

People are speaking out, using their platforms to demand we acknowledge this violence and hate and do something to stop it.

Just a few examples: Sandra Oh spoke at a protest the weekend before last; Daniel Dae Kim pointed the finger at congressional Republicans for failing to back a resolution denouncing Asian hate; Suchin Pak revealed a hideous incident that occurred while she was at MTV; Riverdale‘s Charles Melton reflected on his own fear of standing up for his people and heritage; Emily in Paris star Ashley Park admitted she tried to hide the fact that she was Korean-American out of fear of being attacked; Kat Anh, an actress who appeared in the “A Benihana Christmas” episode of The Office is calling out the show’s depictions of Asians; and Olivia Munn, who has been sounding the alarm about this issue for a while now, pleaded for help.

There has been some hard-earned self-reflection from some corners:

Jay Leno apologized for jokes he made about Asians for decades — even as recently as 2020 on the set of America’s Got Talent, which Gabrielle Union called out at the time.

The recently hired Teen Vogue editor Alexi McCammond has resigned after racist tweets she wrote about Asian people were discovered.

Scholastic has pulled Dav Pilkey’s The Adventures of Ook and Gluk: Kung-Fu Cavemen From the Future for its casually racist depictions of Asians and Asian culture.

And Little Miss “MY FATHER!” herself apologized for defending Former Racist-in-Chief’s use of inflammatory language (after John Oliver ripped her a new asshole on Last Week Tonight).

Saturday Night Live‘s Bowen Yang — the first Asian cast member of a show that has been airing for 46 YEARS — spoke about this violence this weekend and tried to find any humor he could in a painful, heartbreaking situation. 

The “joke” of the bit is that he gives suggestions that would help him specifically, but if you are looking for real ways to help, I found this good piece on Time magazine that suggests you can report hate crimes and take bystander intervention training to learn how to respond and de-escalate a situation.

And of course, you can always donate:

You can also support your local Chinatown communities which have been so hard-hit by this virus. This sounds like such a small — even selfish — thing, but order takeout from your local Asian restaurants, and as soon as you get that vaccine, go patronize their businesses. As soon as I get my second poke, the first place I’m going to is Bellaire’s HK Dim Sum. And the second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth places will be One Dragon, Korea Garden, Wanna Bao, Hyunh, and Fung’s Kitchen (as soon as it reopens) …

And, obviously, reach out to your Asian friends and let them know you’ve got their backs.

And because racism doesn’t take a day off, a few other important stories that were buried by my trying to play catch-up last week:

The Derek Chauvin trial in the death of George Floyd began today. It’s being broadcast on multiple cable news channels. The prosecution opened the trial with the now-infamous video, and not having seen it in a while, oof, it’s heartbreaking and horrific.

A group of top Hollywood publicity firms has advised their clients to not work with the Golden Globes organization, HFPA until they put into place some sort of plan to address their diversity issues, and NBC was like, “We’re going to speak very sternly to them, too.” Shonda Rhimes and Ava DuVernay also called out the organization

In response, HFPA promised that they “plan to put in the work,” and soon after announced that they will increase their membership to 100 people, 13% of which they SWEAR will be Black journalists.

Sesame Street is introducing their first Black Muppets family, father and son Wes and Elijah Walker.

Peacock is scrubbing racist WWE segments from their archives.

The Weather Channel is no longer going to use the term, “Dixie Alley,” in describing the area in the South vulnerable to tornados.

Days after apologizing for being an asshole, Meghan McCain returned to her throne of assholedom. McCain, the conservative commentator on The View who got her job entirely based on the fact that her father was the much-admired United States Senator and war hero, John McCain, had the gall to attack “identity politics” in hiring practices, warning about the dangers of hiring people based on their gender or race instead of their qualifications. The fucking audacity.

Hilariously, McCain inadvertently made one good point in her hypocritical rant about “meritocracy:”

The View is 25 years old next year and we’ve only had one Asian-American host co-host this show. So does that mean that one of one of us should be leaving at some point because there’s not enough representation? Is identity politics more important than the qualifications of a job, and I think that’s a question going forward that the progressive left is going to have to reconcile.”

Girl, give me five minutes and I can come up with an entire list of Asian women more qualified than you who could — SHOULD — take your spot.

And finally, NOT NOW, CHET HANKS.

All Other TV News

And just one last story about racism in the business: Sharon Osbourne is officially out at The Talk, WHICH, I SHOULD HOPE SO. Obviously, Piers Morgan is making this whole story about him, because he can’t help himself. OH, SHARON MANAGED TO DIG THIS BIG RACIST HOLE ALL ON HER OWN, HONEY.

If you’ve got $1.6 million laying around, you could buy yourself The Rosebud Motel.

William Shatner and I have something in common. Actually, I have seen more Star Trek movies than he has.

MSNBC is rebranding its daytime programming, changing it from “MSNBC Live” to “MSNBC Reports,” to help differentiate it from the primetime opinion programming.

Prince William was named “The Sexiest Bald Man in the World” in some dubious “poll.” LOL, OK. (sound on — trust me)

Get well soon, Brian “Road Dogg” James.

Going Viral

We are slipping again: cases numbers, hospitalizations, and deaths are going back up again as people begin traveling, states are flinging themselves open and people, tired of living like this, are letting their guard down. Y’all, we are so close to beating this. Keep wearing your masks, get your vaccines, and don’t kid yourself: we’re not done with this yet.

On the good news side, President Biden says that 90% of adults will be eligible for vaccines within three weeks and that 90% of Americans will be within five miles of a vaccination site. AGAIN: GET IT AS SOON AS YOU CAN. IT’S SAFE, EFFECTIVE, BEEN DEVELOPED OVER DECADES, NOT MONTHS, AND WILL KEEP YOU AND THOSE YOU LOVE ALIVE. THIS IS A NO-BRAINER, FRIENDS.

New York is planning on introducing the “Excelsior Pass,” a voluntary vaccine/negative test passport program.  As you might imagine, people are freaking out.

San Diego Comic-Con believes that after having missed Thanksgiving with your friends and family you’re going to want to skip seeing them again this year to go hang out with a bunch of other nerds. And maybe you will! I’m not judging!

A crew member on the upcoming HBO Max Jean Smart series claims he was fired after he tested positive for COVID-19 and is suing Universal Television.



In Development

Casting News

Mark Your Calendar

  • Lucifer is returning on Netflix on May 28.

  • Wahl Street will debut on HBO Max on April 15.
  • Your Attention Please: Initiative 29 will debut today on Hulu.
  • Sexify will debut on Netflix on April 28.
  • Night in Paradise will debut on Netflix on April 9.


Beverly Cleary, Beloved children’s author

Deshayla Harris, Star of Bad Girls Club


Truly Texas Mexican: This film explores the history and legacy of Texas Mexican women and their food — it ain’t about TexMex, babies. 9 p.m., PBS

Running Wild with Bear Grylls: Bear challenges Marvel hero Anthony Mackie in the season premiere. 8 p.m., NGC

Race to the Center of the Earth: Four groups of adventurers from different parts of the globe compete around the world for a $1 million prize. Series premiere. 9 p.m., NGC

Late Night:

  • Jimmy Kimmel Live: Lil Rel Howery, Wyatt Russell, Jazmine Sullivan

MON. 7:00 7:30 8:00 8:30 9:00 9:30
ABC American Idol
The Good Doctor
CBS NCAA Basketball
CW Bulletproof
All American Stories
FOX 9-1-1
America’s Most Wanted
NBC The Voice

Leave a Reply