Things That Matter

Bowen Yang’s Call To Action Against Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Echoes The Pain Of A Community Under Attack

On March 27, SNL’s Bowen Yang joined “Weekend Update” to deliver a powerful message on the rise in anti-Asian violence. Initially providing some comic relief to the situation, Yang’s tone shifted as he asked the audience to “fuel up.”

“I don’t even want to be doing this ‘Update’ piece,” Yang admitted and in hindsight, he shouldn’t have to.

Yang’s piece began with playful banter between him and ‘Update’ host Colin Jost who referred to him as the “Asian cast member.” While intentionally harmless, the joke alludes to the tokenism of BIPOC voices in pop culture. But Yang’s delivery remains poignant and timely, so listen up.

Diversity on Saturday Night Live is slim. In 2019 Yang became the first Chinese-American cast member and the fourth-ever cast member of Asian descent in SNL’s history. Quickly becoming a fan favorite on the show, other controversies nearly overshadowed his spotlight.

Two years ago SNL announced that they had hired Shane Gillis, but a video of him using anti-Asian slurs began to circulate. Though he issued an apology, Gillis was off the show.

While Yang did not mention this, the dire need to address performative activism and bystander culture are pertinent.

As coronavirus cases began to surge last spring, an epidemic of race-based hate crimes followed suit.

Addressing the recent surge in violent attacks, Yang said “things for Asians have been bleak for the past two weeks; and all the weeks before that.”

According to Stop AAPI Hate’s National Report, verbal harassment, shunning and physical assault were the most common forms of discrimination against Asian Americans.

In addition, 68 percent of hate crimes were reported by Asian women.

On March 17, eight people—including six Asian women—were killed in a mass shooting in Atlanta, Georgia. The refusal to call the shooting “racially motivated” enraged the public as the rise in brutal attacks intensified.

A day after the Atlanta attack, 76-year-old Xiao Zhen Xie was attacked in San Francisco. She became a viral story on social media after fighting back against her assailant and sending him to the hospital. On March 29, two more anti-Asian hate crimes were reported in New York.

A 65-year-old Filipino woman was verbally and physically attacked on her way to church in Midtown. An Asian man was assaulted and choked on a Manhattan-bound (J) train. The examples of hate crimes on people of Asian descent in the U.S. are limitless and paint a broader picture of the violence terrorizing the community.

As online resources have circulated, Yang wittily critiqued minimal social media solidarity.

When Jost asked if the satirical resources were helpful Yang said, “What can I say to help how insanely bad things are?”

“If someone’s personality is punched an Asian grandma, it’s not a dialogue,” he went on. “I have an Asian grandma; you want to punch her. There ain’t no common ground, mama.”

To those who believe menial forms of support like ordering from a Chinese restaurant or tipping your nail technician are enough, Yang said “Do more!”

Following Xie’s attack, Yang mentioned that her GoFundMe page raised $900,000 which she gave back to her community. “That’s where we are as Asians, now come meet us there,” he said.

As a comedian, Yang said that he’s not just looking for solutions online, but around him.

When reporting potential danger in New York, the saying is “if you see something, say something.” The lack of bystander intervention towards anti-Asian hate crimes is detrimental.

In the case of the 65-year-old woman, whose attacker was charged with a hate crime, the lack of intervention by three bystanders sparked criticism. All workers at a luxury condo where the incident was captured, the three bystanders have since been suspended for their lack of action.

However, witnessing a violent attack may not prompt immediate action out of fear. Luckily resources like Hollaback! are providing free virtual bystander training workshops on safe intervention.

Teaching the five D’s: distract, delegate, document, delay and direct—allies can safely learn to de-escalate incidents. This is just the start to doing more.

Being a proactive ally also includes holding people accountable, educating yourself on the history of anti-Asian sentiments, and donating to civil rights organizations.

To stay engaged listen to Bowen Yang who said, “It’s the year of the metal ox, which basically means a car. So everyone get in, buckle up, it’s no pee breaks. We ride at dawn, grandmas!”

Read: Here’s Why The Attack On Atlanta’s Asian-American Community Is A Crime Against Us All

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A 70-Year-Old Mexican-American Woman Was Attacked Because Her Assailant Thought She Was Asian

Things That Matter

A 70-Year-Old Mexican-American Woman Was Attacked Because Her Assailant Thought She Was Asian

Photo via @the_asian_dawn/Instagram

In another incident that highlights the anti-Asian sentiment that is on the rise in recent months, a 70-year-old California woman was attacked in Eagle Rock, earlier this month. According to news reports, a young woman attacked her while she was exiting the bus to pick up groceries.

The elderly woman, who goes by Becky, is Mexican-American. But her attacker yelled an anti-Asian slur at her before physically assaulting her.

According to AAPI news site Asian Dawn, Becky’s attacker was a 23-year-old woman who was also riding the bus with her. The woman did nothing to provoke the attack. The young woman ended up dragging the older woman from the back of the bus to the front of the bus. Becky ended up in the hospital with a broken nose, a concussion, two severely swollen eyes, and chunks of her hair torn from her head.

According to Becky’s son, who only goes by Pete, while the family are Mexican-American, people often mistake their family for being of Asian descent. According to Pete, no one intervened to stop the young woman from attacking his mother.

“Nobody would help. Not even the bus driver,” the woman’s son told The Eastsider.

Finally, the young woman stopped her attack after a fellow passenger called 911. The police were able to apprehend the young woman after issuing a bulletin for her arrest.

According to Pete, his mother has a long road of recovery ahead of her. Already suffering from lupus and arthritis, her mother is having trouble walking. Her leg is badly bruised from the assault.

The fact that the victim was Mexican-American serves to illustrate how ignorant and hateful these racist attacks are. There is no rhyme or reason to hate.

Many are linking the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes to the COVID-19 pandemic, as the virus originated in Wuhan, China. The violent racists that have been attacking people who appear to be of Asian descent believe that Asian-Americans are somehow personally responsible for the pandemic.

If you to support the #StopAsianHate cause, donate to organizations like gofundme.com/AAPI or the Asian American Legal defense fund here.

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Bad Bunny Nearly Kissed Rosalía During His ‘Saturday Night Live’ Debut

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Bad Bunny Nearly Kissed Rosalía During His ‘Saturday Night Live’ Debut

BADBUNNYPR / INSTAGRAM

Bad Bunny made his Saturday Night Live debut on Feb. 20 as a musical guest. As expected, he was joined by Spanish singer Rosalía for a steamy performance of their duet “La Noche de Anoche.”

Bad Bunny and Rosalía turned up the heat on SNL.

As we predicted, one of Bad Bunny’s two performances was for his latest El Último Tour Del Mundo hit “La Noche de Anoche” with Rosalía. Both artists stared into each other’s eyes as they performed the reggaeton bop. The crowd screamed when Rosalía sang, “Dime papi.” Benito and Rosalía took the embracing from the music video to the next level when they nearly kissed at the end of the performance. There was a lot of brushing of their cheeks that had the crowd screaming more.

Bad Bunny and Rosalía’s romance for “La Noche de Anoche” is just for on-screen purposes. Benito is in a relationship with his girlfriend Gabriela Berlingeri and Rosalía is rumored to be going out with Boricua singer Rauw Alejandro. She has uncredited backing vocals on Alejandro’s song “Dile a Él” from his Afrodisíaco album.

For his second performance, Bad Bunny opted for a ballad.

Currently Bad Bunny has the biggest hit Latin song in the world with “Dákiti” featuring Jhay Cortez. For his second performance, he opted to perform the heartbreaking ballad “Te Deseo Lo Mejor.” With that song he was able to show off the alternative rock edge to his El Último Tour Del Mundo album.

In the episode of SNL hosted by Bridgerton star Rége-Jean Page, Bad Bunny also acted in the digital skit “Loco.” He played a house plant that encouraged Ego Nwodim to “buss it down if you’re mentally ill.”

In other Bad Bunny news, he retained his 24/7 Championship belt during last night’s WWE Elimination Chamber special. He notably slapped his rival on the series, Mike “The Miz” Mizanin, in the face.

What can’t Bad Bunny do?

Read: Bad Bunny Is Going All In On Wrestling And We Ain’t Mad About It

Notice any needed corrections? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com