Chang: The Hate Against Asian-Americans Has To Stop
In commemoration of Asian-American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, American legend Michael Chang penned a poignant essay urging unity and calling for the end of racially motivated hate crimes.
Chang, whose parents emigrated from Chinese Taipei, also wrote about the way mistrust and misinformation surrounding COVID-19 has fueled the recent wave of violent crime and discrimination against the AAPI community in the US.
It’s a subject that Chang knows all too well, as he recalled being on the receiving end of racially motivated discrimination during a recent outing with his wife Amber Liu Chang.
Chang is best known for his 1989 run to the French Open title at 17 years old, and his International Tennis Hall of Fame career includes 34 tour-level singles titles. The former World No. 2 has also been the long-time coach of Kei Nishikori.
Read this excerpt below from Chang's essay penned for USTA.com.
My belief is that hatred and racial violence are born from ignorance—fear of what you don’t know or understand. If we all spent more time learning and truly understanding our neighbors, we’d all be in a better place. And I mean getting to know your neighbors in the broadest sense, not just those who live next door, but those who live in your community—people who don’t look like you or have similar backgrounds, but who are all connected by wanting to create a better life for themselves, their families, their friends and their communities.
We have to be each other’s allies. We cannot let hatred and hatred-fueled violence ruin lives. And we all need to take the time to learn about each other and understand that NO American is to blame for COVID-19. We are all in this together.
And Asian-Americans are Americans, just like you.
Because truth be told, Asian-Americans are trying to survive and live life to the fullest just like any other American. We want our families and our communities to thrive. And it’s my hope, as it is with so many other Americans, that we can get back to a sense of normalcy in our nation. As a nation, our history has proven time and time again that we can accomplish and succeed more when we are united in love, compassion and understanding rather than hatred and division.
That being said, I want to thank ALL Americans who have stood by and behind Asian-Americans during this crisis. I know this hatred is a very small minority in our society and that support is coming from Americans of all different backgrounds and cultures! Thank you from the bottom of my heart, and let’s continue to help one another during this difficult and trying pandemic and crisis.
Visit USTA.com to read Chang’s full essay.
- Editor's Note: This story was updated 5 May to clarify that Chang's parents emigrated from Chinese Taipei; they were not born there. Chang's father, Joe, was born in China and his mother, Betty, was born in India. Chang was born in Hoboken, New Jersey.