Addressing Anti-Asian American violence: resources

While this blog customarily celebrates Chinese culture as a way to advocate for a broader understanding of our cultural richness, I can’t find myself posting DIYs and recipes––celebrations of my culture––without confronting that my culture is right now not being celebrated, but rather viewed as a persistent virus. Watching surveillance videos of elderlies resembling my own Ye Ye Nai Nai being shoved on the streets hit too close to home.

The egregious acts of violence against Asian American people uncovers yet another of America’s unhealed racial wounds. The recent incidents of hate crimes against our community is not new: to name a few, Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882Japanese Internment camps, violence that led to the Filipino Farm Worker Movement, and the 2017 hate crime shooting of Srinivas Kuchibhotlato have all bore open racial fissures.

While the onus of racism should fall on those perpetuating the ideology rather than those victim to it, I think an underlying sentiment almost two-centuries-old has barred the Asian American community from raising its voice: the Model Minority Myth. Our parents, in their troubled homelands, journeyed miles to school and could barely ever attain precious commodities like milk; now in the land of abundant dreams, they prefer working hard and keeping their heads low.

I’m not casting this sentiment on every family, or foreshadowing that it will perpetuate into the future, but, for now, this hesitance runs deep. We’ve always been reluctant to draw attention to ourselves. We avoided the spotlight on conversations about anti-racism, not because it’s never happened to us, but because we’ve lacked the awareness to recognize it. The lack of media coverage on these hate crimes compounds the silencing of the API community perpetuates the misconception that we don’t face racism.

The Model Minority has not only debased us from our pedestal but have barred us from recognizing anti-racism against other ethnic groups. We must lean into conversations about the Asian American and black community tensions, and work in unison with other movements fighting for racial equality. I never thought I would quote Detective Chin Ho Kelly from Hawaii 5-O, but he did astutely mention in a GMA interview that this isn’t just about white supremacy and Asian people, it’s about People of Color against racism. In a recent interview, actor Steven Yeun also put into words what we often experience but haven’t been able to articulate: “Sometimes I wonder if the Asian-American experience is what it’s like when you’re thinking about everyone else, but nobody else is thinking about you.”

“Sometimes I wonder if the Asian-American experience is what it’s like when you’re thinking about everyone else, but nobody else is thinking about you.”

Steven Yeun, actor

What our allies and API community can do right now

(adapted from Resources for Allyship and Fighting Anti-Asian Discrimination by Airbnb)

1. Raise awareness, speak up, and condemn these attacks and anti-Asian racism

2. Report instances of anti-Asian assault and crimes 

Report them at StopAAPIHate.org

3. Protect yourself in the face of discrimination or safely stand up for others as a bystander

Join webinars and training hosted by the Hollaback Bystander Intervention.

4. Learn about the history of Asian Pacific Islander discrimination and other challenges we face 

5. Support, donate, and volunteer with organizations actively combating racism against the Asian Pacific Islander community

Organizations to support and donate to

  • Stop AAPI Hate – aggregates and responds to incidents of hate and harassment against Asian American/Pacific Islanders. Stop AAPI Hate received 1,843 reports of anti-Asian discrimination due to COVID-19 in its first eight weeks of reporting (March 19 to May 13). 
  • Hate is a virus – started as a grassroots movement to combat racism and xenophobia against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) fueled by COVID-19, Hate is a virus has evolved into a sustainable organization that addresses xenophobia and hate in the AAPI and BIPOC communities.
  • Act To Change – a national nonprofit organization working to address bullying, including in the AAPI community. They published “The Racism is a Virus Toolkit” to support the community in combating racism. 
  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice – a national nonprofit organization that focuses on housing rights, immigration, civil rights, labor rights, and others for Asian Americans
  • National Council of Asian Pacific Americans – a nonprofit organization that serves to represent the interests of the greater Asian American (AA) and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander (NHPI) communities through a coalition of 37 national Asian Pacific American organizations around the country.

Individual fundraisers

If you live in the Bay Area, here are some ways to get volunteer opportunities

Published by holidaysallyearround

For most cultures, holidays serve as the only opportunities in the year in which we come together: to reunite with faraway relatives, reconcile our past ancestors, and refill stomachs. And for most, holidays fall deep into history, myths, or grandma's fictitious tales that dictate the food boiling after a sacrificial ceremony to the decorations adorned on doors.

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