Anti-Asian hate crimes in America’s largest cities increased 149% in 2020, a study from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism found. The spike first occurred in March and April 2020, amid a rise of COVID-19 cases and negative stereotyping of Asians relating to the pandemic.
Since the start of the pandemic, Stop AAPI Hate has received reports of more than 3,795 hate incidents across the United States. Many attribute the violence to the xenophobic rhetoric that connects the pandemic with Asian Americans, include former President Donald Trump’s blaming the virus on China. But centuries of racism against Americans in the United States have led to this moment in history.
On March 16, 2021, eight women, including six Asian women, were killed in shootings in Atlanta-area massage parlors. This brought to a head the rise in anti-Asian violence that has dramatically increased in 2020 in the wake of COVID-19.
Though the statistics seem bleak, we are not helpless— there are many ways to support the Asian American community, lend our voices as allies, and have an impact for good.
Here are 10 concrete ways to support the Asian American community, and to combat the violence and hate they are facing.
Take Bystander Intervention Training
Bystander intervention training is one way to educate yourself and make sure you’re informed about what to do if you witness harassment. Hollaback! partnered with Asian Americans Advancing Justice to offer bystander intervention and de-escalation training.
The training is free and only takes one hour, and will teach you about everything from microaggressions to intervention to prioritizing your own safety. At the end of the training, there’s time for practice which will leave you feeling more confident when you witness Anti-Asian harassment online or in person. Sign up for a training here.
Report Incidents Of Hate
If you witness an incident of hate toward the Asian American community, speak up, and encourage others to do the same. Don’t be a bystander— speak up against hate crimes and with the correct process. The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) has curated a list of resources so you can educate yourself on hate crimes and how to report them.
Educate Yourself And Others
Continue to educate yourself about the issue of racism and xenophobia in the United States. Read the stories of Asian Americans and the uptick in hate and violence they’ve experienced over the last year. Learn about the history of discrimination against Asian Americans in the US.
Pass what you learn on to others so they can learn about issues and how to respond to them, too. A Center for Public Integrity and Ipsos study revealed that 60% of all Asian Americans have witnessed someone blaming Asians for coronavirus. Don’t laugh uncomfortably when someone makes a racist “joke” or turn away when you witness microaggressions— refuse to perpetuate the racism against Asian Americans in the US.
Support Asian-American Owned Brands And Small Businesses
Show support for the community with your dollars by patronizing Asian-owned businesses. Restaurants, grocery stores, bookstores, boutiques— seek out Asian-owned business in your neighborhood and visit them this weekend. You can also shop Asian-American-owned brands online, including beauty brands, indie fashion brands, food and kitchen brands, and many more.
Sign The Statement Against Violence
View and sign the community letter Asian Americans Advancing Justice put out last week. The statement says, in part, “We must also stand firm in decrying misogyny, systemic violence, and white supremacy. We must invest in long-term solutions that address the root causes of violence and hate in our communities. We reject increased police presence or carceral solutions as the answers.” Hundreds of organizations have signed, and individuals are encouraged to add their signatures as well.
Volunteer In Your Community
Do some research to find community groups improving local safety in your area. If you’re in California, check out Compassion in Oakland; if you live near Atlanta, volunteer with Asian Americans Advancing Justice. Find opportunities in your community and spend time pitching in!
Donate To The Victims Of Violent Acts And Their Families
Asian Americans Advancing Justice’s fundraising page allows you to directly support the families of victims of the violent acts in Georgia on March 16. Their goal is to raise $800,000 for the victims and families. Help them reach their goal.
Donate To Stop AAPI Hate
Looking for more ways to donate your money? Donations to Stop AAPI Hate enable them to track and respond to racism and xenophobia. The center tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.
Donate To The Asian Mental Health Collective
The Asian Mental Health Collective’s mission is to “normalize and de-stigmatize mental health within the Asian community.” After the tragic and troubling events of the last year, help support the organization’s mission by donating here.
Donate To #Hate Is A Virus
The organization Hate Is A Virus (#hateisavirus) is raising $1 million to give back to local and national community organizations providing services and programs for the community. The programs are related to mental health, better protections for the elderly, AAPI representation, and more. Join their efforts by donating here.