How to Talk To Asian Elders About Violent Crimes in Chinese, Korean, English

How to Talk To Asian Elders About Racism in English, Chinese, Korean
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Have you seen Joanne Molinaro’s powerful video? In less than a minute, she commands us to action for “our [mothers] and [fathers], our grandmothers and [grandfathers], they need us to brandish our English words like swords to defend them in a way that they can’t, in a way that only [we] can.”

So here I am. Although my own parents and grandparents have long passed, I remain committed to speaking up for them and all of our families.

Read this: A Letter to My Parents: Why I’m Teaching Your Grandchildren Chinese

Why we need to talk to Asian elders about racism and violent crimes

During the pandemic, hate speech and crimes against Asians have increased drastically. Xenophobic attacks on the elderly have been especially distressing.

With permission from psychologist Dr. Jenny Wang (@asiansformentalhealth), I am sharing her advice on how to talk to Asian elders about racism and violence.

As with most difficult topics, the general steps of approach are to:

  1. Encourage questions and get a sense of baseline knowledge of the problem
  2. Gently provide clear and concrete information.
  3. Validate the response and any accompanying emotions.
  4. Brainstorm a practical plan to prevent or treat the problem

Big thanks to @michellinman for the Chinese translations; @jessie.min for the Korean translations; and @korean4mykids for proofreading my Korean transcriptions. Since I’m learning Chinese with my kids and my in-laws are Korean, I’m grateful for these conversation starters.

At the end of the post, you can download the discussion points in English, simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, and Korean translations. I have formatted these in a printer-friendly, black-and-white format to share with your friends, families, and community.

How to talk to Asian elders about racism and crimes in English, Chinese, and Korean

The following conversation prompts are listed in English, simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Hanyu Pinyin, and Korean.

Step 1: Ask questions. Assess what they know.

  • Have you heard about what is happening to Asian Americans recently?
    • 您是否听说过最近发生在亚裔美国人身上的事件?
    • 您是否聽說過最近發生在亞裔美國人身上的事件?
    • Nín shì fǒu tīng shuō guò zuì jìn fā shēng zài yà yì měi guó rén shēn shàng de shì jiàn?
    • 요즘 미국에 살고 있는 동양인을 상대로 일어나는 범죄에 대해 들어보셨나요?
  • Have you heard about who the most common targets have been?
    • 您是否听说过通常的受害者是谁?
    • 您是否聽說過通常的受害者是誰?
    • Nín shì fǒu tīng shuō guò tōng cháng de shòu hài zhě shì shéi?
    • 누가 주로 피해자인지 들어보셨나요?
  • Did you hear about where they have been occurring?
    • 您是否听说过这些事件通常都发生在哪里?
    • 您是否聽說過這些事件通常都發生在哪裡?
    • Nín shì fǒu tīng shuō guò zhè xiē shì jiàn tōng cháng dōu fā shēng zài nǎ lǐ?
    • 어디에서 이런 범죄가 일어나고 있는지 들어보셨나요?

Step 2: Provide specific, concrete information.

  • There have been several physical attacks on Asians in different cities like Oakland, CA all the way to NYC.
    • 近期在纽约市、加州奥克兰市等不同城市,有亚裔人被多次暴力攻击。
    • 近期在紐約市、加州奧克蘭市等不同城市,有亞裔人被多次暴力攻擊。
    • Jìn qī zài niǔ yuē shì, jiā zhōu ào kè lán shì děng bù tóng chéng shì, yǒu yà yì rén bèi duō cì bào lì gōng jī.
    • 오클랜드에서부터 뉴욕까시 많은 곳에서 동양인을 상대로 신체적인 폭력이 일어나고 있어요.
  • It seems elders have been especially targeted in these attacks.
    • 在这些攻击事件中,似乎老年受害者占多数。
    • 在這些攻擊事件中,似乎老年受害者佔多數。
    • Zài zhè xiē gōngjī shì jiàn zhōng, sì hū lǎo nián shòu hài zhě zhàn duō shù.
    • 자주 이런 폭력의 피해자는 노인들이에요 .
  • We are not exactly sure why they have been the focus of attacks. Some have been motivated by racism. Some may have been for financial gain.
    • 我们不确定为什么老年人一直是被攻击的对象。 有些攻击是出于种族歧视。 有些可能是为了钱财。
    • 我們不確定為什麼老年人一直是被攻擊的對象。 有些攻擊是出於種族歧視。 有些可能是為了錢財。
    • Wǒ men bú què dìng wèi shén me lǎo nián rén yī zhí shì bèi gōng jī de duì xiàng. yǒu xiē gōng jī shì chū yú zhǒng zú qí shì. yǒu xiē kě néng shì wèi le qián cái.
    • 왜 동양인 노인들을 노리는지는 확실치 않아요. 인종차별이라는 사람들도 있고, 돈을 훔치기 위해서라는 사람들도 있어요.

Step 3: Process and normalize the emotion elicited.

  • How does knowing this information make you feel?
    • 了解这些信息,您有什么感想吗?
    • 瞭解這些信息,您有什麼感想嗎?
    • Liǎo jiě zhè xiē xìn xī, nín yǒu shén me gǎn xiǎng ma?
    • 이런 소식을 들으면 어떤 감정을 느끼시나요 ?
  • Do you have any worries, fears or concerns?
    • 您有任何担心、恐惧或焦虑吗?
    • 您有任何擔心、恐懼或焦慮嗎?
    • Nín yǒu rèn hé dān xīn, kǒng jù huò jiāo lǜ ma?
    • 걱정되고, 불안하고, 두려워지세요?
  • Would you feel comfortable sharing some of these concerns with me?
    • 您愿意与我分享这些感想吗?
    • 您願意與我分享這些感想嗎?
    • Nín yuàn yì yǔ wǒ fēn xiǎng zhè xiē gǎn xiǎng ma?
    • 괜찮으시다면, 저와 이렇게 느껴지는 불안감에 대해 얘기해 보실래요?

Step 4: Develop an action plan in response to information and emotion elicited.

  • Let’s develop a plan together to keep you safe.
    • 让我们一起制定一个计划,以确保您的安全。
    • 讓我們一起制定一個計劃,以確保您的安全。
    • Ràng wǒ men yī qǐ zhì dìng yī gè jì huà, yǐ què bǎo nín de ān quán.
    • 우리가 안전하도록 함께 계획을 세워요.
  • Here are some specific actions:
    • 以下是一些具体措施:
    • 以下是一些具體措施:
    • Yǐ xià shì yī xiē jù tǐ cuò shī:
    • 바로 할 수 있는 구체적인 행동:
  • Leave the home with someone
    • 结伴出门
    • 結伴出門
    • Jié bàn chū mén
    • 집 밖에 나갈 때 누군가와 동행하세요.
  • Bring self protection tools (eg, whistle, pepper spray, etc.)
    • 携带防身工具(例如口哨、胡椒喷雾等)
    • 攜帶防身工具(例如口哨、胡椒噴霧等)
    • Xié dài fáng shēn gōng jù (lì rú kǒu shào, hú jiāo pēn wù děng)
    • 자기방어를 할수 있는 기제를 지참해요. (호루라기, 페퍼스프레이 등)
  • Coordinate repeated errands such as grocery store/pharmacy runs
    • 安排好常做的任务,比如买菜或取药
    • 安排好常做的任務,比如買菜或取藥
    • Ān pái hǎo cháng zuò de rèn wù, bǐ rú mǎi cài huò qǔ yào
    • 반복적인 볼 일은 (시장, 약국) 한 번에 하도록 하세요.
  • Contact local organizations for practical support
    • 联系当地组织以寻求帮助
    • 聯繫當地組織以尋求幫助
    • Liánxì dāngdì zǔzhī yǐ xúnqiú bāngzhù
    • 살고 계신 곳의 단체에 실용적인 지윈을 요청하세요.

Free printable translations for how to talk to Asian elders about racism and crimes in English, Chinese, and Korean

Click on the links before for your desired language version:

How to talk to Asian elders about racism and crimes in other languages

@asiansformentalhealth has other languages translated on her Instagram account:

Other crime prevention tips for elders

Age Safe America recommends the following additional precautions:

  • Carry minimal items in a pocket inside your jacket
    • Avoid purses and shoulder bags
    • 12% of crimes against seniors involve purse snatching
  • Use direct deposit to avoid going to the bank. “Many criminals know exactly when government checks arrive each month, and may pick that day to attack.”

How to talk to kids about racism

If you’re looking for tips on how to discuss race and racism with your children, please review the following detailed guides:

Have you talked to your family about racism and crimes against Asians in English, Chinese, Korean, or another language?

I am thinking of you all and hope you all stay safe. Please feel free to share your experience and any other suggestions in the comments below. I’ll try to help to the best of my ability.

Praying for you, friends!

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