Shay Mitchell recently came out to talk about how she deals with the topic of racism, in particular anti-Asian racism, with her 1-year-old daughter, Atlas, and it's advice that other parents have deemed an important conversation to have.
The news comes shortly after the rising hate crimes against the East and Southeast Asian communities.
So let's talk about it...
Now, it's no secret that, in the past year, there has been a spike in racially motivated hate crimes against the American-Asian community.
Anti-Asian hate crimes are up 150% during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University.
Stop AAPI Hate is proud to announce our latest national report, measuring anti-Asian hate incidents from March 2020… https://t.co/S1KRDFA9bw— Stop AAPI Hate (@Stop AAPI Hate)1615915487.0
That's the number of anti-Asian hate incidents that were reported across the country between March 2020 and February 2021, according to a report compiled by the nonprofit coalition, Stop AAPI Hate.
The community has undoubtedly endured an unfair stigma during the pandemic, which originated in China.
Many Asian Americans feel exposed by a torrent of dangerous and racially motivated rhetoric by national figures on a cultural crusade, CNN reported.
Most prominently, that includes former President Donald Trump, who presided over 4 years of rising racial tensions and often used division as a tool of personal power.
A tweet by Trump referring to COVID-19 as the "Chinese Virus" was linked with a rise in anti-Asian content on Twitter, research claimed.
Trump's March 16th tweet, which has since been removed from the platform, read:
"The United States will be powerfully supporting those industries, like Airlines and others, that are particularly affected by the Chinese Virus. We will be stronger than ever before!"
Those sorts of phrases have promoted a dramatic spike in hate crimes against the community which has resulted in multiple deaths.
Recently, we heard the story of Xiao Zhen Xie, a seventy-five-year-old grandmother from the San Fransisco area who was brutally attacked by Steven Jenkins while waiting to cross the road.
After being given 2 black eyes, the elderly woman grabbed a make-shift weapon from the side of the road and defended herself until police arrived at the scene.
Later, it was discovered that Jenkins had also been responsible for another unprovoked attack on an elderly Asian person that same day. He was charged with 2 counts of assault and "elder abuse."
As horrific as the incident was, Xiao Zhen Xie survived...
And unfortunately, this wasn't the case for several other victims of Asian hate crimes.
Vicha Ratanapakdee tragically died after he was brutally attacked by a nineteen-year-old man.
Ratanapakdee, originally from Thailand, but also living in San Fransisco, was violently pushed as he was walking down the street which resulted in his death. Footage of the event showed that he hit his head on the sidewalk before sliding into a garage door.
He later died in hospital due to the seriousness of his injuries.
The teen is being charged with murder, however, his attorney is rejecting that there was ever any intent to kill.
People have been taking to the streets to protest against this discrimination.
Large protests have been taking place all over the country in order to raise awareness about the serious issue.
And then last month, when 8 people were killed in a racially motivated shooting in a number of Asian spas in Atlanta...
Calls for change only grew.
And now, celebrities are using their platforms to speak out about it.
From Demi Lovato to Scott Evans to Rihanna, people are doing their best to eradicate this unnecessary hate aimed towards East and Southeast Asian communities.
And now, as tensions still remain, East and Southeast Asian parents and children alike are wondering how they can do more to protect their community.
And it all starts with education.
And recently, actress Shay Mitchell has been commended for her approach to tackling the issue with her 1-year-old daughter.
Speaking to Women's Health for this year's June cover, Shay Mitchell opened up about how she plans to teach her daughter about racism.
"[Racism is] something my mom has dealt with her whole life," said Shay, who is half Filipino. "When she and my dad were dating in the 1980s in Toronto, their relationship was looked down upon."
"On the bus with my dad, she would get the worst looks. They would tell me about going into a restaurant and people not serving them."
But things extended beyond just hearing it all second hand.
"I also saw it in real life," the actress continued. "My mom would get derogatory remarks like, 'Are you the cleaning lady? Are you the nanny?' And she was like, 'No, but what is your issue if I was?'
Shay also said she experienced bullying at school, as people would ask her if she was "going to clean the bathrooms."
And all of this has led her to be extremely cautious about the way she is teaching her child about the complex concept.
"Matte is half white — his dad is from Trinidad," Shay explained. "And Atlas is a mix of all of us. But she's very fair-skinned and has light eyes and hair, so she doesn't look like either of us."
"We're learning how to have those appropriate conversations. It starts with her dolls, with the toys she plays with, and the books we read to her, that have all different colors and ethnicities."
It's an important conversation for POC and Black parents to have with their children.
The world will not be as forgiving with them so they need to learn about where they stand and beyond that, they need to learn how to respect other people.
We can all learn a little something from Shay Mitchell.
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