The US has seen an increase in racial violence against the Asian community since the epidemic began. However, we must remember that racial prejudice has persisted for much longer in America.
Musician Koru Ishibashi, also known as Kishi Baashi, has released a new song titled “A new song for every voice”. In an interview with NPR, Kishi Bashi described the song as “a feeling of being an outsider in your country”.
Kishi Bashi’s Heritage and Japanese-American History
As the son of post-World War II immigrant parents, Kishi Bashi described knowing full well the discrimination that the Asian community has endured in his music.
In her song “Theme from Jerome”, Kashi Bashi sings about a World War II prison camp in Arkansas. In his song, Kishi Bashee sings: “And while they sleep, he forgets this raga from the Japanese words for his beloved sons.”
To understand their lyrics, we have to recognize the injustices of the past, including the terrible use of Japanese-American internment camps during the 1940s.
On February 19, 1942, about 120,000 people of Japanese descent were forced into concentration camps on the West Coast. Approximately 62% of these prisoners were US citizens. Out of over 120,000 trainees, 80,000 were born in the United States. The state of California claimed that someone with at least 1/16 Japanese heritage would be sent to these trainee camps.
After the attack on Pearl Harbor, racist and inhumane, Japanese-American internment camps were removed as a necessary war measure. It has happened many times in American history that after the international attacks, entire minority groups will be harmed. It can also be identified in the continuing violence against the Muslim community after the 9/11 attacks.
COVID-19 and violence against Asian community
According to a report released by the United Nations, attacks on Asian Americans have increased, fueled by bias and Chinese origin of COVID-19. Despite the increase in reports, Kishi Bashi described how he felt in discussing Asian-American injustice beforehand.
Singer said: “I think there is a very complex place in the Asian-American racial hierarchy. So it was difficult for me to fully accept Asian hatred. Because at the core, I’m thinking to myself: ‘I What to complain about? I am still safe. ”
Nevertheless, as reported on violence against the Asian community, Kishi Bashi said he felt this hatred was on the surface. He said, “When it comes to violence, when I realize – these are not just words. When you normalize hate speech – when it becomes something like, say, your president, who Really allows terrible people to take it a step further. “
In the interview, Kishi Bashee also discussed the proximity of the Atlanta shootings on March 19, which killed six women of Asian descent. His family lives only an hour away from where the shooting took place.
Kishi Bashey clarified his position on the attacks: “I feel that my outlook as an Asian man in this country is different from that of an Asian woman. I felt unworthy to talk about Asian hatred because I am a man. I think Asian women are really weak, especially. And they see a lot of it. My wife tells me that you know, she has heard things. “
Kishi Bashi’s new song and optimism for the future
It is difficult to believe that Mindless racial violence still occurs in the United States in 2021. Many youth are saying that they are feeling major racial division and political unrest within the country. Kishi Bashee composed his new song “For Every Voice That Never” as a way to inspire hope for the future.
The song describes the feeling of being an outsider and a desire to be accepted by your society. However, he is also telling us that there will be change. The singer said, “I think, this song is a way to encourage people to keep their chin up, because the world is changing.”
Kishi Bashey explained that he does not want to continue dwelling on the wounds of society, but to focus on healing. However, Bashey acknowledges that minority communities are fully aware of the trauma and pain caused by racism.
Kishi Bashi continued: “A lot of people want to get out of that pain. They want things to fix them. “Kishi Bashi optimistically said that although the world may feel like she is falling apart,” it is not. It is just like a beginning. “
Listen to Kishi Bashee’s latest song “Every Voice For Never Union” and let us know your favorite Asian American musicians in the comments who are also inspiring you!