A disturbing increase in violent hate crimes targeting Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities sparked by harmful racist rhetoric and scapegoating amidst the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to the forefront important conversations unpacking the history of discrimination against AAPI in the United States.
For some time, the #StopAsianHate movement has been active in response to the surge in reported incidents of anti-Asian violence. With such devastating incidents having been ongoing for months on end, it’s unacceptable that little awareness was being brought to the matter on a larger scale. Why did it take the deadly mass shootings in Atlanta for the movement and hashtag to finally gain traction and trend globally?
Many celebrities with large platforms such as Lana Condor, Mindy Kaling, and Tinashe have used their voices to condemn racism and to call for an end to the alarming issue. Let’s all play an active role in addressing AAPI hate to the best of our abilities by spreading awareness and taking steps toward dismantling systemic oppression as a whole.
Protests against anti-AAPI hate are taking place all over the globe, but due to many factors, not all of us are able to attend them. Here are additional and just as helpful ways to exhibit support for AAPI communities that will make an impact during these difficult times.
Donate To Organizations
There are incredibly inspiring organizations devoted to the protection, enrichment, and advancement of AAPI communities. The groundbreaking Asian Mental Health Collective is one of them. It not only aims to dissolve the stigma attached to mental health within the Asian community, but it’s also actively working to make mental health care more readily accessible to AAPI all over the world.
Born in April 2020 immediately after the sudden rise of anti-AAPI hate crimes during the onset of COVID-19, Hate Is A Virus has grown to become “a nonprofit community of mobilizers and amplifiers that exists to dismantle racism and hate.” It has kickstarted a commUNITY Action Fund with a goal to raise $1 million to distribute to both local and national organizations that operate existing programs “related to mental health, better protections for our elderly, AAPI representation, solidarity-building and more”.
Furthermore, Stop AAPI Hate actively “tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States”. To help combat this disturbing problem and to help ensure Stop AAPI Hate’s mission is maintained, consider making a generous donation.
Shop AAPI-Owned Businesses
With the anti-Asian sentiment brought upon by ignorant reactions to the arrival of the coronavirus, numerous AAPI-owned businesses experienced massive drops in their number of frequented customers. In addition to the boycotts, some have had their shops stolen from or their storefronts vandalized, resulting in tremendous financial losses.
We can make a big difference by swinging by AAPI-owned shops in our own neighborhoods or ordering takeout or dining (if regulations deem it safe to do so) at local restaurants, kindly leaving tips as a little can go a long way.
There are plenty of online AAPI-owned brands you can purchase from as well! For instance, if we’re in the mood to renovate our rooms since we’ve been spending more time in our homes, Society Social offers a wide variety of beautiful, one-of-a-kind artisanal home decor greatly inspired by the upbringing of Filipino-American founder Roxy Te.
Want to know what waits for us in the future? What started as a small family run business in 1957, the Oakland-based Fortune Cookie Factory has the most delicious and most aesthetically pleasing fortune cookies we’ve ever seen! Want a custom message or even a giant fortune cookie? The Fortune Cookie Factory has it all.
Another valid way to share our support for AAPI communities is to sign petitions that seek to create change with direct calls to action. “End Hate Crimes Against Asian Americans” on Change.org was created following a heinous assault on a 90-year old Asian grandmother, with hundreds upon thousands of people pleading with politicians and NYC law enforcement to investigate attacks threatening the safety of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and to categorize them as hate crimes.
“Get Mainstream News Coverage Of National Elderly Asian American Assaults” is working to resolve the severe lack of media coverage on the urgent matter as well. Petitions on Change.org receive a significant amount of attention that can result in success in the long run, but it’s also vital to note that we should donate to Change.org petitions with caution as the money will go to Change.org and not straight to the causes.
Be Vocal On Social Media
Online activism is still activism that can pay off if we’re willing to put in the hard work to amplify AAPI voices. We can use hashtags such as #StopAAPIHate, #StopAsianHate, and #HateIsAVirus to share posts and articles on social media to stand in solidarity with AAPI communities.
Make an effort to share resources with links to organizations to donate to petitions, educational materials, verifiable news links, and other valuable sources with your virtual social networks. Even if we may not be big influencers with tons of followers, what we post on our feeds can still direct attention to the plight of AAPI communities.
Check Up On Our Loved Ones
For those who don’t aren’t AAPI, instead of staying silent, we should reach out to our AAPI loved ones. As Lana Condor tweeted following the Atlanta shootings, “Wake up… your Asian friends and family are deeply scared, horrified, sick to their stomachs and wildly angry. Please please please check in on us, please please please stand with us. Please. Your Asian friend needs you, even if they aren’t publicly grieving on social media.”
When offering your support, you should be sincere and express authentic concern that’s coming from a good place in our hearts. We should focus on allowing those belonging to AAPI communities to take full control of their narratives and to have the opportunity to highlight their feelings.
In the process of denouncing hate crimes against AAPI communities, we should take it upon ourselves to educate ourselves on the history of anti-AAPI violence. The first step to committing to being anti-racist is to devote ourselves to understanding the history of the oppressed. We can learn more about AAPI history by conducting our own research of their lived experiences whether that be by reading informative literature, watching eye-opening documentaries, or listening more attentively to those who identify as AAPI.
This energy should extend over to our everyday lives too as we should be entirely serious in learning how to become better allies to AAPI communities. We should learn how to respond to racism in our schools, workplaces, and other spaces we frequent in our day-to-day lives to work toward making all places safe for AAPI.
Hatred will never be welcome in the world. Not now, not ever. Let’s #StopAAPIHate and make real and lasting progress toward eliminating racism.