APAP Calendar


Interested in sharing your opinions about progressive politics? Want to highlight the great work of local community groups and individuals? Then join our blog team. Send us an email and we can sign you up. apafp AT apaforprogress DOT org.

Anti-Asian Violence in South Philadelphia Schools

The Philadelphia Weekly just published an interesting story about Asian American students, mostly immigrants, who attend schools in South Philly, being racially targeted by both White and African American peers.  By fighting back, Asian American students are finding themselves in disciplinary difficulties.  Despite the fact that both Black and White students have been found to be instigators, the article is quickly framed as a Black on Asian violence problem, and so do the comments posted about the article.  Why not acknowledge the problem as what it is?  With the growing population of Asian Americans in Philly schools, educators need to do a better job of teaching students how to interact in a racially diverse setting. 

From my own experiences, I know that too many teachers, coming from a liberal color-blind perspective, don't know how to handle or confront racial conflict.  I mean, if you're stuck on "there's no race, just the human race" you are obviously going to have problems understanding how race, racism, and racial inequalities are in play on an everyday basis.  In my own experiences, I struggled to survive racial harassment my pre-K through 12th grade days (I was 4 when I got in my first fistfight at pre-school).  The teachable moment? The teachers never once punished the harassers. Instead, they told me how it was important for me to turn the other way, to just walk away as people spit on me, kicked me, tripped me, pulled my hair, etc. etc.  Thankfully, in Philly, the district and schools seem to be taking action to address the conflicts.

While No Child Left Behind requires districts to take action in cases of violence in schools, I've never seen much in the way of requiring educators to know and learn to teach students how to understand racial differences, systemic inequalities, and to interact respectfully across racial lines. 

It's great to have stories like this brought to light, but let's be clear that when both White and Black students are the perpetrators, media simply shouldn't focus on the Black on Asian violence.  It doesn't help the situation.

Your rating: None Average: 4.2 (5 votes)

cin (not verified) on Thu, 09/03/2009 - 05:40

Good thing Phily schools are bringing in Tony Danza to teach.

Anonymous Coward (not verified) on Sat, 12/05/2009 - 04:55

It might be framed as a black versus asian conflict because the school is approximately 70% black, 18% asian, and only 5% latino, and only 6% white.

zab judah (not verified) on Thu, 01/21/2010 - 16:22

Dont kid yourself. This wasn't "white and black" students, these were all black students racially harassing asians. The black students probably harass the white students as well. I am tired of Obama and Al Sharpton crying racism when it turns out blacks are the biggest racists of all.

Richard (not verified) on Mon, 01/25/2010 - 18:12

Blacks are the most discriminatory people on the planet.  Name a black country that gives equal rights to gays and lesbians.  Most black countries punish gay with long prison sentences just from being who they are.  Blacks are much more likely to harrass Asians because of their race than whites are.  It seems that only Asians don't act on their prejudices.  Every other group does.  I am sick and tired of Asians being the victims of violence and discrimination all the time.  It's time to wake up and stop allowing blacks to dominate the discussion on race, and liberal whites to stop allowing it and even encouraging it.  Anyone who knows anything about Asian history in America knows that Asians have always endured harrassment, violence, hatred and even the theft of all their assets (Americans of Japanese ancestry during WWII, for example, or the Chinese railroad workers being robbed of their mines, etc.), and blacks always claim they are the victims.  Slavery was 150 years ago, and they still haven't done a damned thing for themselves. 

My dislike of blacks is increasing by the minute.

Charlie (not verified) on Thu, 01/28/2010 - 15:54

RIchard, you disgust me; particularly as someone of both Black and Asian descent. Calling some other group of people the most discriminatory group on the planet while actively acting like a bigoted idiot. I can't even stoop to your level long enough to talk about the long, storied history of anti-black sentiment among asians worldwide--I'll just retort by saying I hope you get hit by a very large and particularly rapid crosstown bus. 

Tuna (not verified) on Fri, 02/05/2010 - 15:23

Racism comes in all colours; It's all about majority.  I'm black, and I have a younger sister who just started at PRATT in NY.  She's one of the few Black students on the campus and is being tormented in one of her classes that is predominately White and Asian.  I have a cousin who had a scholarship to a college in DC, who had to come all the way back to CT and switch schools because she was being harassed by White students. Everyone has racial grievances.  This isn't a case of Black on Asian violence so much as it is about a bunch of benighted kids adopting a mob mentality to do unnecessary damage

Friedrich Nietzsche (not verified) on Fri, 02/12/2010 - 06:42

When blacks commit acts of racial harassment or violence, it always seems to be about something else; it's folded into a larger problem of some sort. Watch for this explanation: anything, it seems, to protect blacks from charges of racism; it's like protectionism: racism is THEIR industry and they aren't sharing.

VERNON BALMER JR (not verified) on Tue, 02/16/2010 - 17:51

I have lived in Hawaii for 8 years now, and find alot of the population, which is predominantly asian to be bigoted, prejudiced or racist. The difference is they tend to be more underhanded about their actions. You can look at my blog or view any statistics about blacks especially, and also native Hawaiians, and see that living in a state where the predominant culture is asian has lead to disparate numbers in various areas except those that may be of negative conatation. There are many times blacks are not even included in statistics.



VERNON BALMER JR (not verified) on Tue, 02/16/2010 - 17:59

What happened to the post that explained that it was also Whites committing the violence against the asians?


Budget Van Lines Reviews (not verified) on Tue, 02/23/2010 - 10:44

"I know that too many teachers, coming from a liberal color-blind perspective, don't know how to handle or confront racial conflict."

this is absolutely the case. 

marg (not verified) on Mon, 03/22/2010 - 11:34

These attacks are definitely racially motivated and still very much alive today. I live in Center City, Philadelphia and just last week was walking down the street where me and my asian friend were both attacked and punched in the head by a gang of black students. This was at 1:30 pm on Chestnut street, one of the busiest streets of Center City. We were also with our white friend, and nothing happened to her. That same day another of our asian friends was walking from her apartment to the library and punched in the head by another gang of black students. This makes me so angry to think that any person would ever find it acceptable to harm another person at all, and especially for absolutely no reason other than the fact that we were walking down the street, and were born a certain race. I sincerely feel sorry for those students who have to attend those high schools and feel this discrimination, abuse, and fear everyday that they attend school.

Pissed of Bastard (not verified) on Tue, 05/11/2010 - 16:43

Both white and black? Motherfucking liar. I go to that shithole school. I was there. Why is that whenever this kind of shit happens, they always have to fuckin make white people out to be the bad guys? No matter what the situation is.

Anonymous Brave Man (not verified) on Thu, 12/16/2010 - 21:16

"Name a black country that gives equal rights to gays and lesbians."

South Africa!

I'm done.

Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 01/18/2011 - 19:15

Evidently blacks are so insecure they only contribute to an Asian blog to defend their condoning of violence, profanity, hip-hop or whatever, using profane language as usual. Don't depend upon them to offer a word of sympathy to poor Marge who was attacked physically. Yes we have endured racial verbal attacks by whites, but blacks get physical. My sister was spat on. I have had epithets yelled at me. Busdriver calling cops when I touched him on shoulder. Here in DC it's no open secret that they get all the busdriver-security-clerk-entry-level govt jobs. Furthermore, it's pretty obvious that hip-hop (listen to outkast or such) or just look at the revolting albums condoning violence and drug use and rape. If you don't believe this, read any one of collection of reformed prisoners' novels and all about their train rape gangs and such. Not even animals behave like that.

Anonymous (not verified) on Tue, 01/18/2011 - 19:27


Living in this city, one easily gets converted from liberal to...I don't know what. It's just sad to have to endure their madness and anger, like when they block doors to businesses; what ever happened to being cool and loving? Don't get me wrong, I DO still like and admire black people, if only they could exact the same standards on themselves they expect from society.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Images can be added to this post.

More information about formatting options