Since the beginning of the COVID-19, Anti-Asian attacks have risen dramatically, spurring the Stop Asian Hate movement. The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism reports that in major cities, hate crimes directed toward Asian people increased by around 150% in 2020.
In addition, Stop AAPI Hate reported that “researchers analyzed 1,227 tweets about Asian Americans over an eight month period, and found that over 1 in 10 includ[ed] racist or stigmatizing language.” This anti-Asian rhetoric has been extremely prevalent online, especially during the period when former president Donald Trump referred to COVID-19 as the “Chinese Virus” in a tweet. According to the Washington Post, researchers found that this tweet was followed by an enormous influx of Anti-Asian phrases on Twitter.
On March 16th, this increase in anti-Asian hate led to a horrifying act of violence in Georgia when Robert Aaron Long killed eight people in three different massage parlors, six of the victims being Asian women. This incident was followed by a number of assaults and attacks on Asian people, terrifying Asian Americans throughout the country. These hate crimes have garnered significant social media attention, and the Stop Asian Hate movement inspired thousands to protest on the streets of cities including New York, Washington, Atlanta, and Pittsburg.
New York City resident Maddy Park saw this issue and decided she wanted to do something that would help vulnerable Asian-Americans and keep them safe. She noticed a growing fear within the Asian community regarding public transportation, and raised over $100,000 to cover Uber and Lyft rides for elderly Asians, Asian women, and Asian LGBTQ+ in New York City through her Instagram account, @CafeMaddyCab.
“We’ve got your back,” Park’s Instagram post reads. “If you are an elderly Asian or Asian woman who feels scared to take the NYC subway, and the cost prevents you from choosing an Uber or Lyft. Take it. Please. @CafeMaddyCab will cover up to $40.
To date, Park raised $125,435.47 towards this cause and has completed 1,122 rides.
“People who are donating are people from all across the nation, across all races, ethnicities and they just sent me messages saying, listen, we really want you guys to be safe too and we’re donating so that more people can take rides in the city,” Park told ABC.
For ways to donate in support of the Asian community, this article by New York Magazine lists a number of different organizations who are taking action and supporting the AAPI community right now.
Photo by Jason Leung via Unsplash.