Hate crimes against Asians have alarmingly skyrocketed in the last year, and as a Filipino-American college student, this trend has been especially difficult to come to terms with. The Atlanta shooting spree back in March sent shockwaves to the Asian American Pacific Islander community, even frightening some of my family members. Although the #StopAsianHate movement has gained significant traction over the past few months, anti-Asian hate is not a new phenomenon that just sprung out of thin air after the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s a result of centuries worth of harmful stereotypes, hateful rhetoric, misogyny, and classism.
I started wondering what I could do to help my community and how I could spread awareness and use my voice for the greater good. I decided to do what I’m best at: write an article that can give people concrete ways to be an ally during this time. There are so many little things you can do to help combat racism against Asian Americans right now. There are a ton of websites that can help you be a better anti-racist, but if you don’t know where to start, here’s a list of resources and steps you can take to help the AAPI community right now.
Donate to the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, which strives to “build the capacity of local LGBT AAPI organizations, invigorate grassroots organizing, develop leadership, and challenge homophobia, racism, and anti-immigrant bias,” according to their website.
Donate to the Asian Mental Health Collective, which strives to de-stigmatize mental health within the Asian community and increase the accessibility of mental health resources to Asians around the world.
Donate to Heart of Dinner, whose mission is to fight food insecurity and isolation for Asian American seniors, who are facing increased vulnerability during the pandemic.
Donate to The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, which aims to protect the civil rights of Asian Americans “by combining litigation, advocacy, education, and organizing,” according to their website.
Listen to Self Evident: Asian American’s Stories, a podcast that tells the story of the varied experiences of the Asian community, where “each episode presents an in-depth audio documentary or radically open conversations from Asian American communities,” according to their website.
Listen to this episode of Code Switch by NPR, which discusses the anti-Asian violence that occurred in the US before the Atlanta shooting.
Listen to Part 1 and Part 2 of Still Processing’s series on anti-Asian racism. They feature a variety of perspectives who each tell their story “about their experiences with dating, work and more as they relate to race and identity,” according to the episode description.
Read this article by Jackson G. Lu called “Why East Asians but not South Asians are underrepresented in leadership positions in the United States” that examines why Asians are disproportionately underrepresented in leadership positions, an issue called the “bamboo ceiling”.
Read this Washington Post article that discusses the history of anti-Asian racism and violence in the United States.
Read “Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning” by Cathy Park Hong, which features a series of essays that voices the Asian American experience and presents difficult questions regarding racial awareness, identity, and stereotypes.
Read “Immigrant Acts: On Asian American Cultural Politics” by Lisa Lowe, who dives into Asian American identity, history, and culture.
Read “From a Whisper to a Rallying Cry: The Killing of Vincent Chin and the Trial that Galvanized the Asian American Movement” by Paula Yoo, which depicts the horrific realities of Asian American violence in the United States. The book tells the true story of the 1982 murder of Vincent Chin and the path towards criminalizing hate crimes in the United States.
Use Your Voice
Check in with your Asian American friends, co-workers, neighbors, and peers. While it might seem like an uncomfortable conversation, making sure those around you feel supported is a small way to show your support and allyship. Popsugar published an article that can act as a guide on how to approach these conversations in a sensitive manner.
Reach out to your elected officials. The Asian American Advocacy Fund gives ways you can take action by reaching out to representatives about bills that affect the AAPI community.
Take a Bystander Intervention Training so you’re able to identify anti-Asian hate, discuss strategies for stopping acts of hate, and build confidence so you’re able to intervene if necessary. Take it a step further and put pressure on your workplace, school, or community to implement educational trainings and seminars that combat racism.
Remember, racism is a public health crisis and if you’re not actively against it, you are complicit. Do your part in combating anti-racism. Check on your AAPI friends. Educate yourself. Donate if you’re able to. Spread awareness.
Note: These resources are directed towards those who wish to help the AAPI community. If you are part of the AAPI community and are looking for support, use this link for a list of mental health websites, support groups, trauma resources, and more.
Photo by Jason Leung via Unsplash.