The Asian-American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) community is reeling after a string of murders – of mostly AAPI women – took place in Atlanta, Georgia last week. Perhaps even more shocking was the Cherokee County Sheriff’s official response to the crime, with Capt. Jay Baker excusing the shooter as having had “a really bad day.”
These brutal and heartbreaking attacks highlight growing racial tensions in the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. Former President Donald Trump’s rhetoric surrounding the coronavirus pandemic compounded the issue, with the politician frequently referring to COVID-19 as the “China virus” and “Kung-flu.”
Anti-AAPI discrimination and hate crimes are way, way up, with 3,800 incidents reported since the start of the pandemic. These crimes disproportionately affected women, who made up 68% of reports given to the organization Stop AAPI Hate over the past year. Yet these incidents only rarely made the news.
Now that the Atlanta murders have brought anti-AAPI discrimination to the forefront of our national conversation, many people – especially non-AAPI allies – wonder what they can do to combat hate crimes and support the AAPI community. If this is you, here are some suggestions for ways you can help #StopAsianHate.
The most important way you can support the AAPI community is to educate yourself on why this is happening. Education promotes self-awareness of unconscious bias, helping you address potentially problematic behaviors in yourself and others.
Listen to the AAPI people in your life. Whether this means reading social media posts made by Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders or having tough conversations with friends and loved ones, the best resource you have is the community that is directly affected by AAPI hate.
Books and other resources can also help you on the journey to self-awareness and enlightenment. The site Electric Lit recommends reading Yellow Peril and Minor Feelings: An Asian-American Reckoning, among other thoughtful book recommendations.
Support the AAPI Community
Self-education on racial issues impacting the AAPI community is essential, but education alone is not enough. We must take concrete actions to support the AAPI community, such as signing petitions, donating time and money, and, when necessary, directly intervening.
Being an active bystander means standing up for individuals when you see incidents of racism, discrimination, harassment, or physical assault. Before intervening, familiarize yourself with these Safety Tips from Stop AAPI Hate.
You can also report hate crimes at stopaapihate.org and standagainsthatred.org. These organizations gather statistics on anti-Asian crimes for research purposes; they do not report incidents to the police.
AAPI organizations in need of donations include:
- Stop AAPI Hate (click here) is a research organization spreading awareness about anti-AAPI crimes.
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice (click here) is a nonprofit legal advocacy group.
- Red Canary Song (click here) is the only grassroots organization that supports Asian massage parlor workers.
- Stop Asian Hate (click here) is a list of all verified GoFundMe fundraisers for the AAPI community.
Mental Health Resources for the AAPI Community
If you or someone you love is a member of the AAPI community and is impacted, directly or indirectly, by recent events, it’s natural to struggle with your mental health. Feel free to utilize or share these mental health resources with an AAPI person who needs them:
- National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
- Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741-741
- Asian Mental Health Collective (click here)
- National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA) (click here)