The Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) community is under attack. It has been throughout history, like any other marginalized community, but hate crimes have increased by an alarming 1,900% in New York alone in 2020. An organization called Stop AAPI Hate reported that there 3,795 first-hand accounts of anti-Asian hate since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, with women victimized at more than twice the rate of men. Additionally, almost 400,000 Asian Americans in California have experienced discrimination in the last year. We are sharing these numbers because it is unacceptable to stay silent while thousands of Asian Americans, especially elders, face bigotry and racist violence like police brutality. Our silence, our inaction, and our ignorance makes us complicit in their systemic oppression and denies the Asian American community their humanity and right to feel safe.
So what can we do? The Asian and Asian American community requires allyship more than ever, and this means including Asian Americans in your anti-racism work. To be an ally, we encourage you to engage in education and action.
Before we hold others accountable for anti-Asian hate, or racism marginalized communities face, we must educate ourselves and hold ourselves accountable for implicit and interpersonal xenophobia and racism, which fuels anti-Asian hate crimes. Microaggressions, whether that is in the form of jokes or comments dehumanize people and can take a significant toll on physical and mental health. Learning about Asian American stories and history, including the events we mentioned, helps us take informed actions and realize and confront our internal biases.
Moving onto action, we can not be a bystander when hate crimes occur. We must help in any way we can without putting ourselves in danger. We encourage you to raise awareness about hate crimes targeting Asian Americans, focusing on honoring and celebrating the humanity of the victims, especially because of the lack of media attention. Sign petitions and call officials to demand justice for hate crime victims, support Asian-owned small businesses that have suffered from the rise in anti-Asian sentiments, and volunteer and donate to organizations. These materials are all accessible through this resource guide. For the google doc version, check out https://docs.google.com/document/d/18EjMWupwGKuIeSIwi2KdVk-jZ-3YMo8B1puTUfBvUZU/edit?usp=sharing
This forever-evolving resource guide is a joint effort and is open to corrections and additions to ensure that it can be as impactful and helpful as possible. Please reach out to email@example.com to make any suggestions.
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Table of Contents
This increase in anti-Asian sentiments and violence is partly due to the unfounded blame directed towards Asian Americans since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most notably, blatant instances of bigotry towards the Asian American community can be seen in the former president’s use of sinophobic phrases like the “Chinese virus” and the “Kung-Flu”. This rhetoric has allowed anti-Asian hate to fester and grow. Not only does this scapegoat the entire Asian American community, but it also serves to reinforce the idea that Asian Americans remain a population of unassimilable, “perpetual foreigners.” Time and time again, Asian Americans have had to prove their American-ness and humanity. Institutional, interpersonal, and implicit anti-Asian racism and discrimination are embedded in the history of our nation, since 1815 with the arrival of the first Asian immigrants to the United States.
In 1848, Chinese immigrants working in California gold mines faced inhumane working conditions, higher taxes than other citizens, and brutal anti-Asian violence.
Then following in 1863, more than 12,000 Chinese immigrants continued to work in dangerous conditions to build the transcontinental railroad.
As the first and only major federal legislation to explicitly suspend immigration for a specific nationality, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882 that barred Chinese people from entering the United States, tearing families apart and proclaiming them as the “other.”
In 1930, coined as the Watsonville Riots, 500 white farmers attacked Filipino farm workers in California, dragging them from their houses and even throwing them off bridges.
And even in 1942, Japanese Americans and immigrants were legally rounded up and forced into detention centers, now known as the Japanese internment camps.
In 2001, following the events of September 11th, reports showed that over 300 cases of violence and discrimination against South Asians in America occurred just within the first month. In particular, Sikh and Muslim Asian Americans were scapegoated for 9/11 and continue to face violent harrassment to this day.
In 2003, during the SARS-CoV-2 epidemic, Asian Americans were similarly blamed for the spread of a virus unrelated to the community, and experienced a nationwide increase in anti-Asian violence and sentiment.
This history of Asian American oppression and resilience is important. We must confront the narrative constructed by the model minority myth, that remains overlooked. History cannot repeat itself. Mainstream media, politicians, and our own communities are responsible for the demonization and perpetuation of harmful stereotypes against the Asian community, which in turn has led to more violence and hate. We must hold them, and ourselves, accountable.
This is just a brief overview of AAPI history. For more information, check out The Making of Asian America: A History by Erika Lee and other resources available in the next section.
Some resources from NBC’s “Anti-racism resources to support Asian American, Pacific Islander community”
-- Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning (book) by Cathy Park Hong is a collection of essays published in 2020 about the nuances of the Asian American experience
-- Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White (book) by Frank H. Wu 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.
-- Fresh Off the Boat is a TV sitcom highlighting the experiences of the relocation of a Taiwanese-American family from Chinatown in Washington, D.C. to Orlando in the ‘90s.
-- Asian Enough is a podcast hosted by two Asian Americans who talk about the full AAPI experience with the help of well-known celebrity guests’ personal stories.
The Daily’s “A Murderous Rampage in Georgia:” “The pandemic has precipitated a rise in anti-Asian violence in the U.S. However, the full extent of this violence may be obscured by the difficulty in classifying attacks against Asian-Americans as hate crimes. A recent shooting at three spas in the Atlanta area, in which the eight victims included six women of Asian descent, has heightened anxiety in the Asian-American community. Many see this as a further burst of racist violence, even as the shooter has offered a more complicated motive. Today, a look at why it’s proving so difficult to reckon with growing violence against Asian-Americans and whether the U.S. legal system has caught up to the reality of this moment.”
Asian American History 101: “Asian American History 101 is a podcast co-hosted by Gen and Ted Lai, a daughter and father team. The podcast will entertain and educate people as Gen and Ted dive into the vast history of Asian Americans from their contributions to their struggles to their triumphs.”
Fresh Off The Vote: “Civic engagement for AAPI youth, by AAPI youth. New episodes every Monday!”
The Sassy Asian Times: “The unapologetic, sassy, proud Asian Americans you didn’t know you needed. Follow along the journey of two Asian American artists as we talk, discuss, and bring up real topics about the current issues within the Asian American experience.”
Someday is Here: “A podcast created for Asian American & Pacific Islander women on leadership and culture. I’ve wanted to carve out a space for AAPI women to explore and validate living in both Eastern and Western worlds. Each week we will celebrate our heritage and highlight our history as we explore our AAPI journeys, parts that we are proud of and those of pain.”
Pride Talk: “Pride Talk features conversations with Asian American LGBTQ+ professionals and their allies to empower, educate, engage, and celebrate this community. You'll hear casual conversations, stories, and life experiences from various Asian American LGBTQ+ individuals as well as their allies.”
The HEDB Show: “The Dishonored Media Network brings you the HEDB Show, a bi-weekly current events show from the eyes of regular thirty-something Asian American millennial professionals. They try to tie-in practical advice with an unfiltered/non-BS voice.”
The Filipino American Woman Project: “A Podcast Show that shares stories and life lessons told by individuals living (or have lived) in America, that are of Filipino descent and identify as female or non-binary.”
Artists at Play Podcast: “Artists at Play produces theatrical programming that explores the Asian American experience. This podcast will feature new play broadcasts, conversations, and a behind-the-scenes look at our organization and programming.”
Queer Asian Podcast Club: “Formerly known as "The Gaysian Podcast", the Queer Asian Podcast Club is a podcast from the Queer Asian Social Club that aims to create a space in which we can explore the Queer Asian experience. Hosted by the QASC founder Maya Reddy, an American Born Confused Queer Desi, this podcast embarks on conversations with folx both within the Queer Asian community and outside of the community in an effort to empower our stories and experiences and understand the assumptions and attitudes placed upon us. Get in touch with us at queerasiansocialclub.com and use the hashtag #QueerAsianPodcastClub.”
OBSCENE: “OBSCENE is a new podcast hosted by Maya Contreras (EMMY winning Brewed in NY, PBS, ) discussing systemic inequalities that have allowed discrimination to flourish in the United States. We’ll examine discriminatory policies while discussing the history, influences, and future of those policies that directly impact womxn and marginalized groups. Through stories and interviews with experts, you'll be given new insights into the challenges facing womxn and marginalized communities. Through an intersectional approach, the podcast introduces new frameworks to improve your civic participation. As an informed constituency, we can influence our elected legislators to dismantle structural oppressions by drafting inclusive policy that create equity, equal access, and inclusion.”
America Is in the Heart by Carlos Bulosan
Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri
Marriage of a Thousand Lies by SJ Sindu
Native Speaker by Chang-Rae Lee
Baby No-Eyes by Patricia Grace
The Reluctant Fundamentalist by Mohsin Hamid
M. Butterfly by David Henry Hwang
Obasan by Joy Kogawa
Orientalism by Edward W. Said
Clay Walls by Ronyoung Kim
The Woman Warrior: Memoirs of a Girlhood Among Ghosts by Maxine Hong Kingston
Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri
No-No Boy by John Okada
God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
Articles about rise in hate crimes against the AAPI community and shooting in Georgia:
To honor and celebrate the humanity of the victims of the recent hate crimes against Asian Americans, we will be sharing information about some of their lives and saying their names so that they are never forgotten.
Christian Hall was adopted by Fe and Gareth Hall. His co-workers said that he would always put a smile on their faces and have small, enjoyable conversations with them. He was only nineteen-years-old when he lost his life to police brutality. Christian Hall. Say his name.
84 year old Vicha Ratanapakdee was a Thai immigrant and was well known in his neighborhood for his morning hour long walks. On January 28th he was violently shoved to the ground, an attack that proved to be fatal. He was a beloved grandfather. Vicha Ratanapakdee. Say his name.
Noel Quintana is a 61-year-old Filipino man who works as an administrative assistant for a non-profit that works with mental health challenges. On February 3, he was attacked on the L-train by a man with a box cutter knife. Noel Quintana. Say his name.
Angelo Quinto was born in the Philippines, loved online gaming, scuba diving, cooking and fishing, and was a Northern Californian Navy veteran but lost his life to police brutality. Angelo Quinto. Say his name.
Quyen Ngoc Nguyen was a Vietnamese 28-year-old loving, caring mother of two. She loved spending time with her family but was ruthlessly attacked. Even though she lived in the UK, we encourage you to learn more about her story. Quyen Ngoc Nguyen. Say her name.
Names of the 8 people shot in the Atlanta Georgia:
Delaina Ashley Yaun was a mother to a 14-year-old son and eight-month-old daughter. Yaun was an outgoing, family-oriented person who would go out of her way to help others and often take in friends who were in need of a place to stay. Delaina Ashley Yaun say her name. (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2021/mar/18/atlanta-shootings-victim-delaina-ashley-yaun)
Xiaojie Tan was a licensed massage therapist, mother, Chinese immigrant, and successful business owner of two businesses: Young's Asian Spa and Wang's Feet and Body Massage. Her friend stated that "She was the sweetest person you'd ever meet.” Xiaojie Tan. Say her name.
Daoyou Feng worked at Young’s Asian Spa. Daoyou Feng. Say her name.
Paul Andre Michels was a veteran and did maintenance work for Young’s Asian Spa. He dreamed of starting his own own massage business, according to his brother.
Elcias R. Hernández-Ortiz, the only victim to survive the attacks, is a mechanic, Guatemalan immigrant, and great father, according to his daughter.
and 3 other unnamed Asian women
Let us all now take a minute of silence together to recognize not only these people but all victims of hate crimes.
What is the Model Minority Myth? The myth stems from white supremacists tactics to perpetuate anti-blackness, pit minorities against each other, and as an excuse to not help other minority groups. The “logic” also stemmed from the relative success of the Asian American community during the 20th century. Therefore, the thought was if Asian Americans could prosper economically and otherwise while still being a minority group and facing discrimination than other minority groups could do the same and them failing to do so was a result of their “laziness”. This type of thinking is not only false, but it is also extremely dangerous and dehumanizing. This type of thinking completely erases the various types of racism experienced within other minority groups. Take the mass genocide and active sabotage of the Native American community or slavery experienced within the Black community for example. These things are unique to both of these minority groups and therefore create different setbacks for each community. However, though the Asian American community was also exploited and discriminated against by white supremacists they were exploited differently, meaning they have different obstacles to overcome. Not only that but this type of thinking generalizes a very diverse group of people. Just like how slavery was experienced differently by each African American due to other factors such as location, colorism, and gender the same can be said for the Asian American community. If you were a Vietnamese American during the Vietnam War the racism you experience is going to be very different from a Japanese American during WWII or a Southeast Asian who has to deal with both colorism and racism. Such generalization dehumanizes people due to the fact that they are now viewed as part of a collective rather than an individual meaning that they now must be more aware of their actions and how it will affect their whole community. This myth also places unrealistic expectations on the Asian American community and ostracizes them from the larger BIPOC community.
It is also crucial to look inward and take the time to think, removing and identifying our prejudices, misconceptions, and blind spots.
Some questions to reflect upon:
Why do hate crimes occur? What has led to this surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans?
Why is it important for me to seek education and take action if I am not Asian?
What does it mean to be an ally?
How do you contribute to the problem?
How do you define racism?
Definition of Racism: “‘A system of social structures that provide or deny access, safety, resources, and power based on specious (exterior/fake made as true) categories of ‘race’ and produce and reproduce inequalities. This system provides power to people in the dominant group who are seen as ‘white’ and deny people power to those in the non-dominant groups, who are not seen as ‘not white.’” If this is one definition of racism, can people of color be racist? Are people of color complicit, and how?
Am I doing enough?
What does your silence and inaction mean?
How do people, like policemen, end up murdering innocent individuals? What happens to empathy and humanity in these situations?
Am I a bystander?
Why should we continue to take action?
How can I learn and honor the memories of the victims of hate crimes?
What more do I have to learn?
What is the model minority myth and how is it harmful to the Asian community?
How has the past administration’s response to COVID led to a rise in Anti-Asian American hate
How can we show our allyship to the Asian and Asian American community?
How can one combat the rise of xenophobia in America?
What can we do to help put an end to this violence?
Are there any structural changes that need to be made in order to solve this issue?
How does one discuss and unlearn xenophobic thinking in their personal life?
How can we uplift and support the Asian and Asian American community?
How can we address xenophobia in the Riverside community?
When did you realize that anti-Asian sentiments and violence was on the rise?
What steps have you made to become a better ally to marginalized groups?
How can you urge others to explore and learn about their implicit biases and how that can impact others?
Report Instances of Anti-Asian assault and crimes at STOPAAPIHATE.ORG
https://stopaapihate.org/ (does not report to the police and can report on the behalf of the victim)
Information from Japanese American Citizens League Anti-Hate Program’s “When Hate Hits You: An Asian Pacific American Hate Crime Response Guide” (includes causes and history of anti-Asian sentiment, examples of Anti-Asian Hate Crimes, and information of responding and reporting a hate crime) PLEASE CHECK OUT THE DOCUMENT--
Hate Incidents: Hate incidents are expressions of hostility based on race, religion, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation or disability. Hate incidents are not illegal. They may take the form of name-calling or using racial slurs, hate speech, the distribution of racist leaflets or other disrespectful behavior.
Hate Crimes: Hate crimes are defined by federal or state statutes. A hate crime occurs when a person commits an act such as assault, battery, criminal damage to property, criminal trespass to property or mob action because of a victim’s race, religion, nationality, gender, sexual orientation or disability
Importance of Reporting Hate Crimes:
Underlines the need for stronger hate crime laws and penalties.
Informs law enforcement agencies and communities about the scope of the problem, thereby enabling them to deal with the problem more effectively.
Reinforces the notion that hate crimes are not to be dismissed as “pranks.”
Responding to Hate Crimes (Steps to take if you are the victim of a hate crime, or if you witness a hate crime):
Call the police immediately and be sure a report is taken.
If there are injuries, call the paramedics immediately.
Leave all evidence in place.
Do not touch or remove anything.
If possible, document the incident by photographing evidence and writing down the facts. Write down who said what and obtain names of any witnesses.
Inform the police that you were a victim of a “hate crime.” If the police hesitate to report a hate crime, insist on it.
Check for the hate crime designation on the police report.
Obtain a copy of the police report for your records.
Alert organizations such as the JACL and Stop AAPI Hate, organizations that deal with hate crimes and local human relations commissions.
Even though many police departments are set up to investigate hate crimes, incidents of hate crime reporting involving Asian Pacific American victims are seriously underreported to the police. Reasons for this include:
Immigrant victims may face language and cultural barriers to filing police reports.
Immigrant victims are often unfamiliar with American law and fearful of law enforcement.