The Foreign Service Journal, July-August 2021

THE FOREIGN SERVICE JOURNAL | JULY-AUGUST 2021 31 Kim Bissonnette is a U.S. government official who has served in multiple overseas tours. Generations of citizenship and sacrifices for and contributions to America notwithstanding, Asian Americans face the need to prove their loyalty over and over. BY K I M B I SSONNETTE E vents during this past year have deeply affected me and my family, particularly within the last few months, when we have seen an uptick in anti–Asian American crimes in the United States, coinciding with the COVID-19 pandemic. Stop AAPI Hate—a group that tracks xenophobic crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders—reported more than 6,600 hate incidents against Asian Americans between March 2020 and March 2021: 8.7 percent of the incidents involved physical assaults, and 71 percent included verbal harassment. Some of the rhetoric around COVID-19 exacerbated the situ- ation for Asian Americans. People began to look at Asian Ameri- cans as foreigners who brought the virus to the United States, ignoring the fact that these communities have been established in the United States for generations and have no ties to China or to the Chinese government. FOCUS PERSPECTIVES ON DIVERSITY & INCLUSION AsianAmericansCan NoLongerBeSilent, andNeitherShouldYou