After hate incidents against Asian Americans rose drastically in the pandemic, Illinois recently passed a bill mandating that Asian American history be taught in the classroom to help combat the problem. Other states across the country are looking to do the same. The sponsor of the Illinois bill said a lack of knowledge can lead people to “treat Asian Americans with a sense of xenophobia, a sense of foreignness, and yet we are Americans.”
Class discussion: How much do you know about Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders? Did you know about thousands of American citizens being locked up in World War II just because their ancestors came from Japan? Did you know that, for decades, Chinese immigrants were not allowed to become U.S. citizens? Do you know how the United States took over an independent kingdom of Hawaii? Does learning each other’s history help us understand one another?