It seems like every day there’s a new story of another seemingly racially motivated and unquestionably senseless attack on Asian-Americans.
Whether it be in Oakland’s Chinatown, a Sam’s Club in Texas, or outside a bakery in New York City, the uptick in these kinds of hate crimes is the worst kind of online phenomenon.
Santa Cruz Warriors guard Jeremy Lin — a Palo Alto native and one of the most prominent Asian Americans in professional sports — talked about the troubling events on a recent episode of NBC Sports Bay Area’s Race In America: A Candid Conversation.
“I feel bad for somebody who harbors hate for somebody else, who they’ve never met, just based on skin color,” Lin told NBC Sports Bay Area from the G League bubble in central Florida. “That makes me want to do something. It makes me want to educate people or speak out and find ways to make a difference.”
“Honestly, it goes almost from anger to heartbreak. Almost like a sadness, but mixed with compassion. I almost feel for the people who are hurting the victims.”
Sinophobic conspiracy theories surrounding the coronavirus pandemic are being credited as the cause of these attacks. Lin had been outspoken on Twitter that former President Donald Trump’s rhetoric at the start of the pandemic last year, tweeting “This subtle anti-Chinese message only empowers more hate towards Asians.”
Now a year later, as his tweet became unfortunately prescient, Lin — whose parents emigrated from Taiwan but who identifies as Chinese-American — is calling for minority groups to come together.
“I’ve always said that in the long run, it can’t only be Asians caring about Asian issues, or African-Americans caring about African American issues,” Lin told NBC Sports Bay Area. “If, as minorities, we want the majority to understand what it’s like to live a minority experience, and to sympathize and change, we as minorities also have to collaborate, unify and use our voices and stand up for each other. There has to be solidarity on that front.”
“It would be hypocritical of me to say I’m anti-racism if I only stand up for people who look like me,” Lin said. “There is definitely power in unification and solidarity. That must happen and needs to happen… Between the Asian and African-American communities, if we can combine and show [love] for each other and support each other, that would give us more momentum in that direction.”
Race In America – A Candid Conversation will replay Friday at 11 a.m. on NBC Sports Bay Area and on NBC Sports California Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and Sunday at noon.
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