Tag Archives: Racism

Man Endures Racist Taunts, Said SPD Was Unresponsive

by Ruth Bayang

(This article was previously published on Northwest Asian Weekly and has been reprinted with permission.) 


Insignificant. Unseen. Ignored.

That’s how Kert Lin, 35, of Seattle felt, as he heard someone yell “Chink, open your eyes, go back to China!” when he pulled into the parking lot of Home Depot on 2701 Utah Avenue South, just outside the International District (ID) on May 12.

Lin, a Chinese American, snapped a photo of the white man driving a company truck belonging to a local landscape company. The same man goaded Lin into getting out of his car while Lin called 911, all the while saying that calling the police would do no good, intimating that he couldn’t get fired because he was the owner of the landscape company, and that nothing would be done.

Lin said this happened in plain view of store security officers outside Home Depot.

Continue reading Man Endures Racist Taunts, Said SPD Was Unresponsive

City Says Racial Bias, Hate Will Not Be Tolerated; Response to Hate Crime at SoDo Home Depot Says Otherwise

by Matt Chan


What happened to Seattle elementary school teacher, Kert Lin, this past week at the Lander Home Depot should never happen to anyone. Kert was the target of an unprovoked racist verbal attack … an attack by someone who is so steeped in his own racial privilege that intimidating someone based on their race was just a mean joke.  

I am 67 years old and know a few things about racism. The one truth is that being on the receiving end of a racist attack is one of the loneliest places in the world. It’s primal and frightening. You’re alone facing a person or a gang of people who hate you because of the color of your skin. You are forced to make split second decisions that can mean life or death for yourself or those you love. When confronting a toxic mix of rage, ignorance, and entitlement, there are no good choices other than survival. The one thing that is certain — a victim of racism never views life the same, and each incident in your life holds its own unique horror.

Continue reading City Says Racial Bias, Hate Will Not Be Tolerated; Response to Hate Crime at SoDo Home Depot Says Otherwise

OPINION: The Immigration Smokescreen

by Rich Stolz


We are living in an unprecedented crisis. We know this moment calls on all of us to go all in for all of us so that we can all be safe and healthy. And we also know that COVID-19 is harming black and brown communities, including immigrants, at higher rates, due to deep underlying inequities in our society. 

An unprecedented crisis calls for competent leadership, especially in the White House. Unfortunately, that’s something we don’t have. A confusing and confused response to the pandemic has made the crisis worse, and the president is agitating for states to reopen their economies in a manner that contradicts his own talking points. 

Enter the immigration ban.

Anyone who uses this health crisis to divide Americans and scapegoat immigrants undermines everything we need to do to keep each other safe in the face of this pandemic. Politicians like Donald Trump are blowing a smokescreen to divert attention from their own failures by whipping up resentment and fear of immigrants, scapegoating our communities with xenophobic attacks. Unfortunately, these policies have real consequences.

The new ‘immigration ban’ signed by the president last week restricts immigrant visas and green cards to folks abroad who wish to immigrate to the U.S. The ban is initially set for 60 days, and it may be extended. This ban on legal immigration follows on the administration’s decision to halt refugee resettlement earlier in the crisis. And it follows on three years of policy changes that have eviscerated our asylum system.

There are some exceptions to the ban, including spouses and children of U.S. Citizens, physicians, nurses and other healthcare professionals and wealthy immigrant investors. But that’s no solace for the tens of thousands U.S. citizens and permanent residents who are separated from their loved ones overseas and must now put their plans to reunite their families on hold.

The administration’s stated reason for the ban is to reduce strain to the healthcare market, protect the American worker, and to help folks retain their jobs, especially African Americans, the disabled, and lower income workers at the margins. But we know that’s a false narrative.

Immigration hardliners, nativists and xenophobes are using this crisis to enact policies they’ve sought to implement for years, and the president is seeking to shore up support in his nativist base to counter his falling poll numbers. Once again, Trump is attempting to divide black and brown voters and voters on the margin against immigrants by recycling age-old stereotypes about immigrants stealing jobs. But that’s not true, and jobs are not a zero-sum game. Adding new residents to our country creates jobs, and economic models show that time and again. The rampant inequality that Trump’s policies are fueling is what’s keeping communities down. 

The very people that Trump is now excluding are the same people serving all of us as “essential workers.” It’s a loaded term. Many of them are immigrant and native-born workers, typically working on an hourly basis or in the fields, in warehouses or in grocery stores. Because they can’t afford not to work, they are risking exposure to COVID-19 in order to minimize the impact of the crisis on those of us who can work from home. These workers are the frontline heroes we need right now, and it’s up to us to make sure we have their back.

Let’s make sure we don’t fall for the smokescreen. This is a time to come together across the differences too often used to divide us. We all need to stay healthy and safe. We all need to call blatantly racist and xenophobic attacks on our communities what they are when we see them. We will need each other to make it through the economic crisis we’re in. And we’ll need to draw on all of us to muster the vision we’ll need to shape a recovery toward a more resilient, more equitable economy.


Rich Stolz has been OneAmerica’s executive director since 2012. Born in Seoul, South Korea, he understands the need to organize, advocate and engage on behalf of immigrants and their families. He has dedicated his career to social justice and immigrant rights and was honored by President Obama as a Cesar Chavez Champion for Change. Follow him on Twitter @rstolz11.

Featured image: Alisdare Hickson (licensed by Creative Commons)

Consciousness-Raising: Learning How to Respond to Anti-Asian Racism

by Shane Baguyo


In late February, I was at the Honolulu International Airport, flying back to Seattle. I immediately noticed crowds of people wearing blue face masks, and caught an eerie feeling. 

That’s when I learned about the coronavirus, a highly contagious virus first seen in Wuhan, China. It was killing thousands of people there and strict restrictions were being put into place to prevent it from spreading throughout their country. 

With the close international relationship between China and the state of Hawaii, people at the Honolulu airport were taking precautions to protect themselves. I stood in line at the security checkpoint, gave my driver’s license to the white TSA guard, and spoke loudly and clearly enough to signal to her that English was my first language. 

“How are you doing?” I asked. 

“I am kind of scared,” she whispered. 

Continue reading Consciousness-Raising: Learning How to Respond to Anti-Asian Racism

Local artist draws connection between race and climate change

By Gus Marshall

South Seattle-based interdisciplinary visual artist Carol Rashawwna Williams explores the often-overlooked intersection of racial injustice and climate change. Her somber, monolithic prints slowly sway from the ceiling of Seattle University’s Hedreen Gallery, evoking a grave feeling of interconnected grief and pain. Williams’ current exhibit, “For the Record”, showing through Oct. 11, examines the stark similarities and disparities of two seemingly different issues: global warming and the lasting impacts of slavery.

Williams also serves as the Co-Executive Director of Community Arts Create (CAC), a nonprofit. CAC works to combat gentrification and the displacement of communities of color in the Hillman City area by building and strengthening relationships through community art programs and neighborhood engagement. The South Seattle Emerald spoke with Williams about her upcoming annual fundraiser for Community Arts Create, which will take place on Oct. 25 at the Hillman City Collaboratory.

Continue reading Local artist draws connection between race and climate change

OPINION — A Fat Problem: Intersection of Class, Race, and Living While Fat

by Villainus

This society is full of oppression, marginalization, and intersections.  So many of these intersections are being addressed in the realm of social media and academic conversations. However there are more then few that go unseen except by those who experience them.

Continue reading OPINION — A Fat Problem: Intersection of Class, Race, and Living While Fat

OPINION — The Meltdown of International Socialist Organization: How Anti-Feminism, Racism, and Bureaucracy Led to Its Demise

by Helen Gilbert

On April 2, 2019, the International Socialist Organization (ISO) publicly announced that members had voted to disband because of their failure of confidence in an organization to which many had devoted decades. The problems centered on sexual abuse, racism, and lack of democracy. ISO’s dissolution is proof of the necessity for socialist feminist practice on the Left. The tragedy is that ISO is not the only group on the international Left that has been torn apart over sexual abuse in the last ten years. These failures discredit the entire movement and drive women out of radical politics.

Continue reading OPINION — The Meltdown of International Socialist Organization: How Anti-Feminism, Racism, and Bureaucracy Led to Its Demise

OPINION — Disarmament: The Racist, Classist Reality of Gun Control

by Villainus (formally bypolar)

Gun control is a popular subject in Seattle. A lot of privileged folks here pride themselves on having the “right” stance on gun control. They don’t realize that stance targets poor Black people in an attempt to boost this industrialized slave system known as the prison industrial complex with more human capital for consumption. Do you think gun control is really a left-wing position?

Continue reading OPINION — Disarmament: The Racist, Classist Reality of Gun Control

Perspective: Bursting Bubbles and Meeting Racism Face-to-Face in the South End

by Cecilia Erin Walsh

“Sidewalk closed.” I stepped around the construction site sign, pressed the crosswalk button, and waited. The usual traffic on Alaska Street crossed in front of me, loud but not so as loud to drown out the voices of construction workers behind me.

“And did you hear about the synagogue in Pittsburgh? All those Jews being killed?” one man asked another, who responded “Oh, yeah,” like he’d rather not talk about it.

Continue reading Perspective: Bursting Bubbles and Meeting Racism Face-to-Face in the South End

League of Women Voters panel discussion examines race and women’s suffrage

by Aaron Burkhalter

Nearly 100 years ago, Congress passed the 19th Amendment, granting white women the right to vote. It took another year for enough states to ratify the amendment, but many people would continue to wait for their right to vote. Jim Crow laws prevented black women and men from participating in the United States’ form of democracy.

Continue reading League of Women Voters panel discussion examines race and women’s suffrage