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Asian community reflects on emotional toll

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The deadly shooting at the FedEx facility last week is another blow to an already grieving Asian community.

In the last year, we’ve seen several violent incidents. And some in our local Asian community are feeling the emotional toll.

This last year has been a challenging one in the Asian community: starting with backlash from COVID-19, to seeing spikes in hate related crimes, to the deadly shootings in Georgia to the deadly FedEx shooting in Indianapolis. And the trauma on top of trauma is taking a toll.

It’s hard to move past trauma when it keeps happening. And in the last year, the Asian community knows all too well what that’s like.

“I think it’s extra traumatic because as I said, not only were we trying to raise attention and tell people what was happening, we were trying to prevent these kinds of things,” Shruti Rana with the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum said.

Thursday night, eight Hoosiers were killed. Half of them were Sikh, a religion with roots in India, which sits on the continent of Asia. Just a month before, a gunman in Georgia killed eight people. In that case, six of the victims were Asian. Authorities haven’t said if either was driven by hate.

“[It] highlights the feelings of being dismissed, like your concerns are not taken seriously. But also that people don’t want to see what’s standing right there and is visible for everybody to see,” Rana said.

The Asian community has reported spikes in hate crime stemming from the pandemic. Another part of the Asian community is impacted by unrest in Myanmar from a military coup.

“We always hear this kind of news. And we feel sad but we also don’t expect something like this happening in Indianapolis,” Asian American Alliance President Rupal Thanawala said.

About 40 Asian nationalities are represented in Indiana, so the impact across the board is felt in the state.

“My eight Hoosier brothers and sisters have died, and that is the feeling across the board. But we want everyone to know that not only are we speaking on behalf of the Asian community but we are speaking on behalf of all Americans and all the Hoosiers,” Thanawala said.