How To Help in the Fight Against Anti-Asian Racism
There are several ways to take action and fight back against growing anti-Asian sentiment
There has been a surge in racist and xenophobic attacks and sentiment towards Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the United States. These vitriolic feelings have been bubbling since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic but have experienced a resurgence in the past few weeks. More and more people are taking to the streets to protest against the violence and hate that has stemmed from the use of terms like the “Chinese virus” and “Wuhan virus” and “kung flu” by officials and former President Donald Trump.
Several noteworthy brands and Asian American celebrities have started to speak up and voice their discontent with the state of the country right now, including Daniel Dae-Kim, Gemma Chan, and Olivia Munn. Attacks on members of the community have started to create national headlines as they increase in number, particularly in states like California and New York.
Several organizations have taken a stance to improve their diversity laws and condemn AAPI violence. President Biden also released an executive order “Condemning Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.” There are several things that we can do as individuals to bring about change as well, which include:
Supporting Your AAPI Compatriots
Before doing anything else, it’s vital to be able to encourage people around you going through these issues to speak up. You need to be able to give them a platform to communicate their issues and listen to them, allowing them to rise up against hate while offering your support. Providing them with a safe space is key.
However, to be an ally, it takes knowledge and understanding. Develop your knowledge of the Asian American community in the country and learn about their culture and issues. The only way to be truly comfortable with the issue is by first understanding it and learning where they come from. The Center for Asian American Media (CAAM), for example, is a great resource to learn more about the lives of members of the AAPI community.
Speak Up and Spread Awareness
Now that you understand, you’re in a position to be an ally. Advocate for members of the AAPI community and use your own privilege to be of assistance. If you see someone else being hateful or xenophobic, speak up against it. You can even report violence against a member of the AAPI community, if that would help, and here is a resource that could help. News media have also started taking note and highlighting such issues, with a petition by the Asian American Collective garnering over 120,000 signatures to get the same done.
Donate and Help Out
Several organizations have been making concerted efforts to fight back against racism and violence against members of the community, and they’d appreciate any form of support. There’s the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center, Asian Americans Advancing Justice that fights for legal and civil rights for AAPI residents, the Asian Pacific Fund’s Covid-19 Recovery Fund, or the Asian Mental Health Collective.
Support Asian-Owned Businesses
Asian-owned businesses were hit the hardest during the pandemic’s initial wave of xenophobia and anti-Asian sentiment. However, there are several ways to support them and show them love. A simple method is to frequent Asian-run establishments or restaurants in your neighborhood more frequently and giving them business. There’s also Welcome to Chinatown, a grassroots initiative intended to support businesses in NYC’s Chinatown. Here are some other ways that you can support Asian-owned businesses nationwide.