Yuh-Line Niou is a Taiwanese-American Assemblymember representing the 65th district in New York. She is the first Asian-American to represent a district that is 38 percent Asian. She is the only Asian female on the state legislature.
Media coverage of the coronavirus has been invaluable in keeping us updated with the ever-developing situation we all find ourselves in. However, we cannot ignore the fact that mainstream news networks remain silent and fail to recognise the true extent of racial incidents against Asian Americans.
News reports have tended to verge on the possibility that the current climate could lead to increased xenophobia against Asians. Less attention (if any) is paid to actual incidents. This unconsciously reinforces Donald Trump’s rhetoric which blames the Asian community whilst suggesting at most, that there has been “nasty language” used against us – a blatant understatement.
The Asian American new site Next Shark, reports and fact checks rapidly increasing incidents of violence and discrimination including attempted murder and online hate posts on a daily basis. As a British Asian, these reports have truly disturbed me. The silence from mainstream media outlets is simply deafening.
Media representation of Asian stories has always been incredibly scarce, yet the past few years showed promise of positive change. The popularity of BTS has furthered the interests of Asians worldwide and Hollywood movies like Crazy Rich Asians have defied expectations. Even at the start of this year, Parasite ruled supreme over the most prestigious award shows. The tide felt like it was turning. Mainstream media was all too happy to share in the success of the Asian community worldwide. However, news networks who supported these victories now seem disingenuous, given the lack of stories and reports that highlight the true impact of this current crisis on Asians across the world.
Now more than ever it is vital that we all call upon news outlets and publications to highlight our stories. We cannot remain ignorant as people are discriminated against for an pandemic out of their control. The pressures on everyone’s daily life are undoubted. But as Asians, on top of that we carry the burden of fear and heartbreak as we see what is happening to our community. Silence only allows hatred to grow. Mainstream media must be held responsible and use their platform to highlight this current plight in order to prevent hate and protect the Asian community.
Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.
Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.
We have grown since then, putting out bimonthly issues (we are contributor powered: apply to write for our next one!), and weekly reviews of culture, and news that is important to us.
You can find announcements, more news, and get to know our staff on social media: give us a follow, and learn how you can get involved today!
We do not claim to speak for all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. We are just here to give them a place to speak for themselves.