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Two students explain what it’s like being Asian in America

Published: Apr. 2, 2021 at 7:42 PM EDT
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HOUGHTON, Mich. (WLUC) - Two Chinese students at Michigan Technological University (MTU) said people from different cultures need to be more educated on differing lifestyles in order to truly accept each other.

Max Qian, a MTU sophomore, said his two years in the United States has been ‘smooth’. He said one of his American friends let him stay with him and his family when he wasn’t able to go back to China.

Qian describes his interactions with his friends as harmless; but some things they say could be perceived as offensive if they didn’t know each other.

“He does talk to me in a joking way about those slangs that’s racist to Chinese,” Qian said. “Which I know he definitely didn’t mean that. It’s kind of hard to judge them because they grow up in an environment like that. Sometimes it’s kind of hard to change.”

In the past year, more and more attacks on Asian Americans have surfaced.

Qian said he believes the incidents are a direct reflection of Former President Trump referring to COVID-19 as the ‘China’ virus.

“So sometimes I feel like people are too sensitive because the president’s events pushed them to act irrationally,” he said.

Just 3 weeks ago, eight people were killed in Atlanta during a mass shooting. Six were Asian-American. The incident triggered ‘Stop Asian Hate’ protests across the country.

According to the “Stop AAPI Hate” group, there were 3800 Asian racist incidents in the past year across the country. Sixty-eight percent of those incidents were in the form of verbal harassments.

A second-year PhD student said it’s happened to him.

“When I’m walking down the street,” the student said. “There might be some people shouting at you.”

The student even wanted to keep his name anonymous.

“I just want to protect myself,” he said. “I don’t feel safe.”

Even so, he said he hasn’t had any problems on campus in the past six years he’s attended MTU. He also said he understands everyone is different.

“You can’t expect all the people to perform nice,” the PhD student said.

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