Asian at MacDuffie

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Flags from the countries of MacDuffie’s students fly in front of the school at graduation in 2020. This tradition is meant to reflect and honor the large international population at the school.

Edinam Ablordeppey, Editor

Roughly 40% of our population at MacDuffie are international students, a large portion of them being Asian. Our Asian students come from various countries including China, Vietnam, Japan, and South Korea. Even though the majority of international students at MacDuffie are Asian, a mere 6.5% of the US population is Asian, but the hate and violence towards them have significantly increased from 2019 to 2020.

Asian hate and violence have increased nearly 150% from 2019 to 2020, primarily due to the rise in coronavirus in the US. Although Asian hate and violence have been more publicized over the past year, it has been prevalent for decades.

As a school that praises diversity, we must make sure Asian students feel safe and supported in our community. And the first way to do that is to ask them so here is an insight how on how our Asian students feel:


Trend:

I feel MacDuffie students, and some teachers, put on a persona, especially when it comes to social media. They post and comment about social justice, without actually putting in the work. When it came to the BLM, I saw a lot of people post about the march, but didn’t do anything beyond posting. However, this year I saw a real change from people just posting to actually doing something about it.

This year was my first year having Diversity Day and I loved it, especially the Panel. I feel MacDuffie, in just the past year, has gone a long way when it comes to social justice. I was able to hear students share their experience which raised awareness and truly brought to light MacDuffie is not perfect, by they try to be open and welcoming. Although we were able to hear the student experiences, I would love to hear how the teachers and faculty members felt about the whole thing. I just hope that MacDuffie continues this because just posting about something isn’t enough.

 

Scared:

I’m currently study remotely from another country. Although I haven’t stepped foot in America for almost a year, due to the pandemic, I have kept updated on what has been happening with Asian-Americans, and I feel scared. I am scared to go back to MacDuffie in fear that this may happen to me. 

Although my fears are similar to those shared by many Asians, and Asian Americans, I know the school is doing its best to make everyone feel safe and supported, whether it be on the current hate and violence towards Asians, or just in terms of Diversity.

 

True Colors:

MacDuffie’s teachers and faculty are really good when it comes to diversity and making me feel welcome. Although there has never been an outpouring of hate towards Asian students, there have been few incidents where I have noticed kids making fun of Asian students, by calling them names or just mocking their accents.

I feel this is kind of representative of what is going on with America now because I feel people have always had some sort of prejudice or hate against Asians, but have only truly expressed it because of Covid. They use Covid as a way to justify or excuse their actions.

 

Awareness:

My favorite part about the way MacDuffie handles diversity is the way they raise awareness. MacDuffie doesn’t just raise awareness on racial injustice, but religious and physical injustice. I feel we raise awareness a lot whether it is in class, and mainly during assemblies, like the Holocaust one we just had. 

Although I am largely part of the majority here at MacDuffie, because I am Asian, I sometimes feel like a minority, in terms that I am one of roughly five Vietnamese students here at the school. I have been following the recent hate towards Asians and I feel scared. What brings me comfort is knowing that there is always someone to talk to.


As we strive as a community to not only be diverse but to also embrace it along with the adversity that comes with it, we must remember that we must continue on the journey. Posting is not just enough, having one panel is not just enough, we must continue to strive to make our school better by continuing and expanding what we have already done, like Diversity Day. 

We must continue to support and creating a welcoming community for our Asians, and colored students, because hate did not just arrive overnight, nor will change be created overnight.