We Stand with You: Resources for Anti-Asian Racism

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by Sarah Fowler

Many of us are aware of the increasing rate of hate crimes and bias towards Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs). Headlines are continuously shining a light on the systemic racism that not only affects Black Americans but any person of color (POC) in America, including AAPIs. Since the dawn of the COVID-19 pandemic, head figures placed blame on AAPIs calling it the “China Virus.” AAPIs quickly became a scapegoat, which snowballed into conspiracy theories resulting in an increase of bias incidents and hate crimes against the AAPI community.

How can we help?

Kate Lý Johnston wrote an article for NBC News titled Anti-racism resources to support Asian American, Pacific Islander community. In the article, Johnston suggests taking the following steps towards anti-Asian racism [1]:

Educate yourself…

Sadly, racism against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is not new. It dates back to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 which prevented Chinese laborers from entering the US. Long before AAPIs were a scapegoat for COVID-19, they were a scapegoat for declining wages and the lack of job opportunities. In the 80s, Japanese car manufacturers inched their way into the US, only to be harassed and murdered for “taking American’s jobs.” [1]

Resources for education [1]:
  • “Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning” is a collection of essays published in 2020 about the nuances of the Asian American experience
  • “Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White” examines stereotypes, such as the perpetual foreigner and the model minority myth, and tackles issues including affirmative action, immigration, and interracial marriage
  • Self Evident: Asian American’s Stories is a podcast that aims to challenge assumptions about Asian Americans
  • PBS’ Asian Americans is a five-part documentary series on the history of Asians in America.
  • #AsianAmCovidStories is a YouTube documentary series exploring Asian Americans’ experiences and challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic
Picture description: Green background and floral designs with a white text quote about how books connect us all by James Baldwin

Racism against Asian Americans might not be easy to see…

Because the American public school curriculum fails to educate our nation about the unique struggles of Asian Americans, many Asian American’s feel like they have to prove that they experience racism. BELIEVE AAPI STORIES. Give POC the benefit of the doubt. LISTEN and most of all LEARN. [1]

Picture description: Orange, teal, and green background with a quote about Asian Americans being included in society when things are good, but becoming outsiders during turmoil. By Russel M. Jeung

Don’t dilute language when talking about racism, but check your sources. Semantics matter when it comes to the difference between a hate/bias incident vs. a hate crime. A hate/bias incident may be an act like a slur, whereas a hate crime is a physical act of violence that shows racial motivation. [1]

Resources to understand the difference between hate crimes and bias incidents [1]:

Seek out mutual aid efforts…

Help each other out. It’s as simple as that. Don’t succumb to the bystander effect. Use your voice. Use your privilege. Michelle Kim, author of The Wake-Up and CEO of Awaken, a company that offers diversity and inclusion workshops said it best, “It’s important for us to always be building a coalition, working in solidarity so that it’s not only when crises happen that we’re reaching out to an organization for support.” [1]

Picture description: Quote with tan background, green leaves, and lettering, that says, “It’s about creating that community where people feel like they are better protected and that they are not alone.” By John C. Yang
Resources about mutual aid [1]:

The fight against anti-Asian racism must be inclusive…

We must recognize how intersectionality alters the experiences of various members in AAPI community.

Support and seek resources from a broad range of AAPI advocacy groups, such as South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), which focuses on public policy analysis, advocacy, and community building; The National Federation fo Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), which develops young leaders, urges political participation and supports small businesses; the National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance (NQAPIA), which promotes visibility and provides education and tools to tackle homophobia and racism; the Sikh American Legal Defense & Education Fund (SALDEF), a media and educational organization that promotes civic and political participation; and Empowered Pacific Islander Communities (EPIC), which seeks to empower Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI) communities through advocacy and research. [1]

Kate Lý Johnston

Donate if you can…

Support groups like StopAAPIHate, which organized a tracking tool for hate incidents last year; The National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association, which helps provide affordable care, translated resources, and cultural competency for professionals; Send Chinatown Love, which supports restaurants, many of which are immigrant-run and cash-only and so were rejected for government aid. [1]

In addition, the Asian American advocacy group Goldhouse has compiled a comprehensive fundraising page on GoFundMe featuring local nonprofits by region, ways to help small businesses, and social media toolkits. [1]

Kate Lý Johnston

Arm yourself with an argument against the term “China virus…”

Language is fluid meaning it changes with the times. While naming viruses after their country of origin was the status quo, language evolves even in the context of health. For example, we no longer solely use female names for hurricanes because of an activist named Roxcy Bolton. [1]

Picture description: Tan background and green floral design with green script, “Calling it the Chinese Virus or anything similar adds unnecessary xenophobia for people who look like me. It takes literally no effort to call it by its correct name.” By Natalie Chou.

For AAPIs, acknowledge that you have your own biases…

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are not exempt from shadow work. Anti-black racism still exists within the community. Thus, as Yang said, “We have a responsibility to call out racism, whatever we see, not only when it happens to Asians.” One way to call attention to racism as an AAPI without comparing it to anti-blackness is to recognize that Asian’s are racialized differently. [1]

How can we address loved ones who hold biases or racist misconceptions?

We can address our loved ones who hold biases or racist misconceptions from a place of love and learning rather than hate and proving someone wrong. This is looking through a lens of empathy. We have to try to understand why people feel the way they feel in order to come up with a way to get through to them. Often people who hold racist or discriminatory views ( …or claim they don’t hold them when their actions speak otherwise) tend to feel threatened and may get defensive when approached argumentatively. You can’t fight fire with fire. Be assertive and empathetic, not aggressive. [1]

Picture description: Quote with green floral background and white script, “If we are going to find out way back to each other, we have to understand and know empathy.” By Brene Brown.

How can I teach my children about anti-asian racism?

We highly recommend reading the following article: How To Start Conversations About Anti-Asian Racism With Your Family. [2] In the podcast, Audie Cornish talked to Nicole Chung, an author and advice columnist for Slate, and Christine Koh, a neuroscientist, and co-author of a parenting book. Koh mentions keeping conversations age-appropriate. When children are very young, it’s best to start teaching basic values like empathy. As we teach them about empathy, compassion, and understanding, we teach them that there are both a lot of similarites between kids and a lot of differences that should be celebrated. Emphasize that different is good. [2]

Talking to AAPI children…

Check out Talking to children about anti-Asian bias. For Asian-American families, many feel like they can’t avoid “the talk” any longer. This article describes how a mother is helping her daughter embrace her identity to counter racism. [3]

Resources for talking to AAPI children [3]:
Picture description: quote with tan background and green floral design that says, “Children learn more from what we are than what we teach”

For older children, in this article titled, How to Talk to Children About Anti-Asian Attacks, Anna Halkidis discusses a Guide for Parents of Asian/Asian American Adolescents. This guide is inclusive and quite helpful. It emphasizes the importance of a natural conversation rather than a lecture. Some of the suggestions from the guide include specific questions you can ask your child including: [4]

  • Do you feel safe going back to school?
  • What helps you feel safe?
  • Do you worry about being looked at differntly because you’re Asian?

You can also use current events, TV shows, books, or movies as a way to discuss hateful incidents. It’s important to validate your child’s feelings and allow them to work through them naturally. Do not force it, but do not ignore it. Say things like, “Tell me more,” or “Thank you for sharing.” When children are given an opportunity to share how they feel, it’s quite empowering. The article also suggests talking openly with your child about your own feelings and experiences. This connects your family to establish a strong support system. [4]

Resources for parents who need more support to address coronavirus-related racism [4]:
Picture Description: Quote with a tan background and green border. 3 cartoon people standing in the middle. Circular quote that says, “Dear Asian Community, you are not alone. We stand with you. #StopAsianHate

Additional Resources

References

  1. Anti-racism resources to support Asian American, Pacific Islander community
  2. How To Start Conversations About Anti-Asian Racism With Your Family
  3. Talking to children about anti-Asian bias
  4. How to Talk to Children About Anti-Asian Attacks