Overwatch professional describes ‘terrifying’ anti-Asian racism in Dallas

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Over the previous few years, harassment and racism in direction of Asian individuals within the U.S. has continued to rise. Cease AAPI Hate, a company that tracks violence towards the neighborhood, recorded greater than 3,795 incidents because the begin of the coronavirus pandemic — with a brand new wave of violence this yr highlighting racism on this nation.

Throughout a Twitch stream this week, Dallas Gasoline participant Lee “Fearless” Eui-seok spoke concerning the racism he and his group members have skilled whereas coaching in Dallas. Lee, who’s South Korean, mentioned residing within the U.S. throughout the pandemic, in a state that has rolled again pandemic restrictions — together with a masks mandate — whereas COVID-19 continues to unfold, with new surges of illness variants popping up throughout the nation.

“Being Asian right here is terrifying,” Lee mentioned, in line with a translation from Florida Mayhem supervisor Jade Kim. “I feel Koreans residing abroad ought to be cautious. The racism right here is not any joke.”

He described specific incidents throughout which Dallas Gasoline gamers, carrying masks, had been approached by individuals with out masks, or who had eliminated their masks, to cough on the gamers. Lee mentioned the harassment the gamers face is “mainly daily.”

Lee continued: “It’s fairly extreme. They usually attempt to scare us.” He added that he usually wears his Dallas Gasoline jersey in public, reasonably than common garments, to sign that he’s a part of a group; he mentioned individuals harass the gamers much less once they’re carrying their uniforms.

Overwatch League’s Paris Everlasting basic supervisor Kim Kyoung Ey posted on Reddit that she additionally confronted related experiences in Dallas. “Usually made me cease purchasing on the native supermarkets and simply get groceries on-line,” she wrote.

Although anti-Asian racism has risen throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s not new. “Anti-Asian racism could have surged throughout the pandemic, but it surely’s been taking place for years, fueled by the thought of Asian Individuals as ‘perpetual foreigners,’ or individuals who aren’t perceived as absolutely American,” Vox author Li Zhou wrote in March. The current enhance in violence has introduced anti-Asian racism to the forefront, triggered by a a sequence of assaults on aged Asian individuals within the U.S, as properly the Georgia shootings that killed eight individuals, six of whom had been Asian ladies, at three Atlanta-area spas.

Stories of anti-Asian hate crimes have elevated by virtually 150 p.c in 2020, in line with the Heart for the Examine of Hate and Extremism at CSU San Bernardino and reported by Vox. In response, a number of organizations have begun elevating funds for victims and their households, in addition to for Asian American communities worldwide. An inventory of a few of these organizations is out there on Vox.

Neither the Overwatch League nor Dallas Gasoline have responded to Polygon’s request for remark.

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