Column: It’s nice to meet you


Photo credit: Zoe Woolenburg

As school has returned to in-person learning on-campus, pictured is me sitting in the courtyard. For the last two years, our world has undergone a nationwide pandemic called COVID-19. Minorities who were most affected by this virus of hate, such as the Asian American community and more, have started and continued to speak out against the injustices they have faced.

By Sydney Frank , Columnist

Do you ever wish you had a story to tell or is it just me? I could tell you all of the things that make me who I am, but I don’t know where I fit in. 

I am a 16-year-old girl living in Los Angeles, California. I’m living through a global pandemic, and I have been going to a virtual high school for over the past year. My mom is Korean, my dad is white and I have a twin sister and a dog. I enjoy video games and books that transport me to alternate universes, drowning myself in music of all sounds and styles, the chipped nail polish that doesn’t leave my calloused fingernails, and the color blue.

Hi, I’m Sydney. It’s nice to meet you. I’m just a normal girl living in a world filled with so much hatred and it terrifies me.  

Scrolling through my Instagram feed, I looked over the same old stories, the “aesthetic infographics” everyone has been posting, when one caught my eye: “What’s going on with all these anti-Asian hate crimes?” I clicked on the post and my eyes widened. Why haven’t I heard about this before? Have I not been paying attention? Maybe I just wasn’t looking. I’ve noticed that people have started reposting things like this on their social media pages, and I make an effort to repost as many as I can, too. But I have to ask myself, do I actually understand what I am posting, or am I doing it out of obligation?

Where is the coverage?

After viewing this post, I immediately started my own research. I read about the many instances of racism against the Asian-American community that have amplified because of COVID-19 I’ve noticed a parallel between the lack of information about COVID-19 and hate crimes committed against Asian-Americans. Individuals who are not educated about the pandemic are the same people that lash out against Asians violently. For example, when people call COVID-19 the “China virus” this highlights how ignorant they are, and also how willing they are to disregard actual facts for false ones, just to push racist stereotypes. It is unacceptable.

I constantly see incidents of Asians being the victims of violent crimes for absolutely no reason. It is so frustrating to read about innocent elderly women getting stabbed while waiting for a bus in San Francisco. Annie Wu says that due to COVID-19, the number of hate crimes committed against Asian-Americans have increased by 1900%.

It’s as if the very real crimes towards Asian-Americans have been erased. I was astonished at how little the horrible crimes committed against Asian-Americans were documented on news channels I watch with my parents.

As I processed all of this new information, honestly, I felt really guilty and a bit helpless. I didn’t even realize half of the issues I read about happened so often.

Why is it that news outlets that are supposed to be informative and educational only show news that pertains to one story? In the new digital world we live in, it is so easy to just post something on social media, but what actually matters is how that post makes people feel. I am honestly disgusted by what I have seen, and so motivated by the people who strive to spread awareness on the internet. I want to do my part to help others, and I will do it one post at a time if I need to.

Where do I fit?

This year has taught me a lot. It’s challenged me to think about who I am as a person and who I will become in the future. I’ve learned a lot about the world and the many ugly truths that live everywhere I look and realized how many of them could be directed towards me. I don’t know what will happen, but at least now I am more self-aware about the world around me and how to navigate it.

Hi, I’m Sydney. It’s nice to meet you. I’m just a normal, Korean-American girl living in a world filled with so much hate, and I’m still finding my place in it.