Our hearts break witnessing story after story of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders being targeted in racist attacks. It is devastating to see our peers and elders harmed and disrespected, with the pandemic being used as an excuse to carry out racial violence.
While there has been a spike of racist incidents against the AAPI community since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, xenophobic attacks against Asians is not new. Examples of anti-Asian violence and discrimination number many throughout history, including the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, Japanese Internment camps, violence against Filipino farmers in the 1930s, and racism after the SARS outbreak - yet due to the model minority myth, AAPI are often overlooked.
We stand tall with our Asian community - our friends, neighbours, family, customers and colleagues - in solidarity and condemnation of racism, violence, hate and xenophobia of any kind, and in hope for a more inclusive and compassionate future.
We ask our Vessi Family to join us in bringing visibility and justice for the AAPI community. We put together this guide to provide our community with resources to better understand, show support, and #StopAsianHate.
At A Glance
In August 2020, a UN report identified more than 1,800 racist incidents against AAPI in the US from March to May.
NYPD data showed a 1900% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in NYC - where there were 20 incidents in the first half of 2020 alone, compared to 1 in the entirety of 2019.
Stop AAPI Hate began collecting reports anti-Asian hate in March 19th 2020 and by December 31st, received over 2,808 firsthand accounts of anti-Asian hate.
In Vancouver, the VPD reported an 878% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes - including racial slurs, physical assaults, robberies and vandalizations.
75% of Asian Americans are fearful of increased racially motivated hate and discrimination.
What's Been Happening
We gathered a collection of news articles to help you get more informed about what our AAPI community is experiencing.
8 people, including 6 Asian women are dead following a series of shootings at 3 massage parlours in Atlanta on March 16th.
These shootings are the latest acts of violence against Asian people living in the US - violence that has increased significantly in large part due to racist rhetoric around the pandemic.
So far, the authorities have named 3 of the victims of this tragedy. They are Delaina Yaun, 33, of Acworth; Xiaojie Tan, 49, of Kennesaw and Daoyou Feng, 44.
1 in 4 Asian American youths experience racist bullying
Several student researchers said they were surprised to discover just how normalized anti-Asian stereotypes have become. "This is not something that my family has talked about a lot," she said, adding that she's been brushing off microaggressions since she was young.
Hundreds of volunteers are escorting elderly Asian Americans to keep them safe during Lunar New Year
"Jacob Azeved put out an offer on social media to walk with anyone in Oakland's Chinatown neighborhood if it might help them feel safer. Before long, nearly 300 volunteers reached out wanting to help as well. The overwhelming response he received led Azevado to establish Compassion in Oakland, a volunteer organization that promotes safety and community in their neighborhood."
Attacks Against Asian Americans Spike Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
Roughly 71% were cases of verbal harassment, while shunning or avoidance made up about 21%. About 9% of the incidents involved physical assaults, and 6% included being purposely coughed or spit on.
Oakland's Chinatown on edge after more than 20 reported robberies, Chamber of Commerce president says
Business owners in Oakland's Chinatown are on edge after a series of at least 20 robberies and attacks, often targeting women and seniors. The president of Oakland's Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, Carl Chan has been collecting videos of these crimes and says he's talked to at least 20 business owners in the past two weeks who have been targeted.
Assault on Elderly Man a Hate Crime: VPD
A 92 year old man with severe dementia entered a convenience store in East Vancouver when a man began yelling racist remarks. Outside the store, the attacker shoved the elderly man causing him to fall to the ground and hit his head.
Shocking video shows 91-year-old man senselessly pushed to ground in Oakland's Chinatown
The suspect then approached a 60-year-old man and 55-year-old woman from behind that were also walking in the 800 block of Harrison Street," police said. "The suspect pushed both victims to the ground, resulting in the woman losing consciousness. The man also suffered injury.
Family of 84-year-old killed in SF believe attack was racially motivated
Data shows an increase in anti-Asian hate incidents in Canada since onset of pandemic
- More News Articles
First Hand Accounts
The following are just a few first hand victim and witness accounts of anti-Asian hate reported to Stop AAPI Hate.
“I am posting this on behalf of my dad, a 71-year old Korean adoptee. Yesterday, he was chased out of a rural convenience store after asking to use the restroom while traveling along I-5 through California to get to Portland, Oregon.” (71 y.o, Northern CA)
“I was waiting to enter [a pharmacy] to get my prescription when a group of construction workers (not social distancing) made fun of me by mocking me, fake coughing, spitting at me and making slant eyes gestures until I asked them to stop. No one else called these people out.” (68 y.o, Oakland, CA)
“I was standing in an aisle at [a hardware store] when suddenly I was struck from behind. Video surveillance verified the incident in which a white male used his bent elbow to strike my upper back. Subsequent verbal attacks occurred with "Shut up, you Monkey!, "F**k you Chinaman," "Go back to China.”
“My husband and I (both in our 60s) were walking home after grocery shopping and three to four people in a car shouted "Virus, go to hell!" to us while they drove by.” (68 y.o., Montclair, CA)
What can we learn from the past?
This isn’t the first time that entire groups of people were wrongfully blamed for the spread of a disease. The following materials sourced from UBC’s Department of Asian Studies’ Anti-Racism Resources help us understand the scope of the crisis in context of previous events.
Kevin Thomas’ “Fighting coronavirus fear with empathy: Lessons learned from how Africans got blamed for Ebola” is an introduction by Penn State Sociology, Demography and African Studies professor on the lessons learned from 2014’s Ebola outbreaks.
Keil Roger and Ali Harris’ “Multiculturalism, Racism and Infectious Disease in the Global City: The Experience of the 2003: SARS Outbreak in Toronto” provides a narrative of the racialization of infectious disease in Toronto.
- Natalia Molina’s “Fit to be Citizens?” examines the role of Los Angeles’ public health department in racializing Asian immigrants and Asian Americans through medical discourse that conflated race, disease and immigration.
How To Help
Thank you for following along on our resource guide. Here are some ways to join the fight and #StopAsianHate.
- Sign this Petition to help John Chan's grandmother, a cancer survivor who was racially attacked in San Francisco. She is suffering from two serious black eyes and has been affected physically, emotionally and mentally. She needs support for her medical bills.
- Sign this Petition to Get Mainstream News Coverage Of National Elderly Asian American Assaults
- Raise awareness by following and sharing the hashtags #StopAAPIHate and #StopAsianHate on social media.
- Listen to and amplify the stories of the AAPI in your community.
- If you witness someone using anti-AAPI language like “China virus” or other comments blaming AAPI for the pandemic, challenge it.
- Seek out information about the kinds of discrimination the AAPI community face. Read the links in this article or search for recent news. Be
- Support AAPI owned businesses, many of which have suffered due to economic loss and racial discrimination.
- Look out for crowdfunding campaigns for individuals or businesses who are survivors of anti-Asian hate crimes.
- Push your local elected officials to denounce xenophobic sentiments in politics.
Stop AAPI Hate is a reporting center that tracks and responds to incidents of hate, harassment and discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the US. Stop AAPI Hate compiled Safety Tips for those Experiencing or Witnessing Hate:
5 Ways To Help if You Experience Hate.
- Take Action: Approach the targeted person, introduce yourself, and offer support.
- Actively Listen: Ask before taking any actions and respect the targeted person’’s wishes. Monitor the situation if needed.
- Ignore Attacker: Using your discretion, attempt to calm the situation by using your voice, body language, or distractions.
- Accompany: If the situation escalates, invite the targeted person to join you in leaving.
Offer Emotional Support: Help the targeted person by asking how they’re feeling. Assist them in figuring out what they want to do next.
Read the full list.
This interactive heat map built in collaboration of allied organizations including #HateIsAVirus, betterbrave, Uprisers, ISA, AHN, hollback!, 3AF, and the Asian American Business Development Center shows visually the reported hate crimes on the AAPI community.
Please know that these reported incidents are just the tip of the iceberg, as many racially charged hate crimes go unreported.