The recent shootings in three Atlanta businesses, which took the lives of eight people, six of them Asian women, are far from isolated acts of violence perpetrated recently against the Asian community in the United States (via The Washington Post). NPR reports that the COVID-19 epidemic has lead to a sharp increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans. The news source cites research from Stop AAPI Hate documenting nearly 3,800 cases of discrimination against Asians in the United States during 2020. Sung Yeon Choimorrow, executive director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, spoke with The Washington Post and emphasized the impact of the killings on the Asian American community. “The people that are most fearful to go to work today in Atlanta are Asian American women,” Choimorrow said. “It’s not White women, it’s Asian American women … they’re fearful to go to their service jobs today because of what happened yesterday.”
Top Chef host Padma Lakshmi has also used her sizeable Twitter platform to speak out. This is what she has to say.
“What happened last night was a hate crime and we should all be treating it as such,” Lakshmi told her Twitter followers, reminding them that “Asian women are more than twice as likely to be targeted in hate crimes than Asian men. The misogyny and racism (run) deep.” Lakshmi further tweeted that while “Asians are not a monolith … a racist attack against one of us is an attack against all of us.”
Lakshmi, who was named the United Nations Development Programme’s Goodwill Ambassador in 2019, and who is also an ambassador for the ACLU, is dedicated to fighting against inequality and discrimination on a global and national level (via The Hindu). It’s important that she doesn’t separate her career in food from her dedication to social justice. Instead, Lakshmi sees the diversity in America’s food culture as a an opportunity to foster acceptance. In 2020, Lakshmi described her Hulu series, Taste the Nation, to The New York Times as “my rebuttal to the fear-mongering from Washington.” Through it, she hoped to “give the microphone to the people responsible for the most exciting food in the country.”