Vicky shares how violence and racism against the Asian community hit home and how speaking up can make a difference
Vicky Liu is a Lead Strategist on the Sales Effectiveness team supporting the US Client Success department in New York City. She has been at Indeed for 2 years and is an active member / leader of Indeed’s Asian Network Inclusion Resource Group. She recently started her new role as Regional Events Lead and has ambitious plans for the Asian Network this year!
It’s pretty crazy for me to look back on the past year and reflect on everything that has happened since. My birthday is in March and even though I only aged one year on paper, it felt like a decade mentally. It feels like every month had a year’s worth of emotional drama packed into it.
There has always been racism towards people of Asian American and Pacific Island (AAPI) descent (even from my personal childhood experiences), but this feels like the first time in a long time that it has been taken seriously in the media and talked about openly.
Between growing up believing all the model minority myths and being told to “just keep your head down and work hard,” the AAPI community has finally reached an inflection point where we can no longer be silent about what’s happening to our community.
Despite all the ups and downs, I couldn’t be more proud of the way the Asian American and Pacific Islander community has come together during this time of hardship.
Read Rick Chen’s perspective on not feeling American enough here.
Violence hits home
Since COVID began sweeping across the US last March, there have been countless attacks against elders in the AAPI community, many of whom look like our grandparents, as well as shootings at places where people like our immigrant parents could be found working at massage parlors, nail salons, restaurants, etc. in diverse cities across America.
The incident that happened recently to the 65-year old woman in Manhattan on 43rd St./9th Ave. rattled me to the bone. I used to live on 43rd St./10th Ave. and Indeed’s office is on 43rd St./6th Ave. — I would walk past this luxury apartment building twice a day to and from work.
The thought that this could’ve happened to me on a Monday morning in broad daylight while I was minding my own business and walking to the office is crazy. Worse yet, the fact that if something DID happen, bystanders would potentially not even intervene to help me.
All these years I lived in Manhattan, I’ve always felt safe to go out alone at any time in the day or night because I figured since it is the city that never sleeps, there would always be someone who would be a witness and take action if needed. I have solo traveled to many foreign countries before and I would not describe myself as a scared or paranoid person. Yet for the first time now, I have never been so afraid in my home country.
Last year in early pandemic days, my partner and I were on a packed NYC train during morning rush hour when I sneezed and everyone noticeably backed up away from me (most likely thinking I was another Asian with COVID or how the pandemic was because of Chinese people drinking bat soup).
My partner used his privilege as a straight white male to educate these strangers that their behavior was not acceptable or welcomed. If more people speak up and take action like this, perhaps those that seek to intimidate or cause violence will think twice.
After the Atlanta spa shootings occured on March 16th, Indeed provided a much needed Brave Space with Rajkumari Neogy where we could share and process our feelings.
During that session, all the compiled emotions from the past year hit me like a ton of bricks and the weight of everything that has happened to our community broke me down.
For another perspective, listen to Mary Bui-Pham, VP of Software Engineering, openly share her feelings and thoughts with Indeed CEO Chris Hyams about the challenges of being an Asian woman today.
Giving back with Asian Network
I wouldn’t be here today without all the support Indeed and the Asian Network Inclusion Resource Group (IRG) provided to the AAPI community. In February 2021, the Asian Network made a commitment to donate personal alarms to elders from the Korean Center Inc. in San Francisco, California, allowing them to draw attention to themselves during an emergency situation.
Our goal was 500, but we surpassed that goal by leaps and bounds by donating over 1,700 alarms. We were able to make a tangible impact that protected the most vulnerable in our community.
A new normal
As vaccinations are happening and we are entering the recovery phase of our economy here in the US, I am looking forward to some things going back to “normal” again such as joining my gym, going to a concert, or traveling. However, this whole experience has been a wake up call for me to reevaluate what matters to me and reprioritize my life.
What I do NOT want to happen is for the AAPI community to go back to accepting racism against our community and being indifferent or complacent towards issues affecting people who look like us. Long gone are the days where you can “just keep your head down and work hard” to make a difference — it’s time to speak up and face the problems we’ve ignored or neglected for far too long.
During this unprecedented and turbulent time, I am especially grateful for the AAPI community coming together stronger than ever before and all the allies who have helped us pave the way to find our voice.
With all the events that unfolded over the last year, the Asian Network IRG has received an outpouring response of, “What can I do?” Here’s how you can help:
- Read up on the statistics and how to engage in a dialogue
- Raise awareness. Share information about attacks and victims.
- Report anti-Asian hate crimes at Stop AAPI Hate
- Donate to the following non profits: