By now it seems people have finally caught on to the anti-Asian racism the Asian American community has experienced the entire pandemic, with the recent increase in vicious attacks, especially against our elderly and women. Anti-Asian sentiment and racism isn't new. It has existed for as long as Asians have been here, as long as the first Filipinos were brought as slaves during the colonial period. While many of our parents and grandparents have always brushed off racist attacks, we're tired of having our voices silenced or ignored. If you're wondering how you can support the Asian American community right now, here are a few ways:
1. Report Attacks
If you witness an attack against an Asian person, or are an Asian person and someone attacks you, please report it. Our community is well-known to not report crimes, and that's changing now, especially with the help and support of allies. Aside from reporting to authorities, you can also report to www.stopaapihate.org.
2. Look Out For Elderly Asian people
It seems ludicrous to even have to say this, but if you seen an elderly Asian person, please especially look after them, keep an eye out to make sure no harm comes their way. It's abominable that anyone would attack a defenseless elder, and it's cowardly.
3. Obliterate the Model Minority Myth
The term model minority is rooted in pitting Asians against Blacks in the U.S. and excusing white people for the systemic racism this country is built on. It's a harmful term to Asian American identities and to our community, because we are not a monolith. It has also created this strange expectation of Asians that hurts us, silences us, and overlooks us. There are number of articles that discuss this in more detail, but here is one that was written a few months ago.
4. Support Asian Businesses
Asian businesses are currently suffering from two pandemics: COVID19 and racism, with many being vandalized and robbed.
5. Include Asians in Anti-Racist Discussions
When the BLM protests happened, and people started talking about anti-racism, I know I wasn't the only Asian American or non-Black person of color who was inspired to also say enough is enough, it's time to see us and hear us. It's everyone against racism. I told myself, I'm no longer going to let ignorance go when confronted with it.
6. Join Our Conversations
Join our conversations and hear our stories. I recently joined a discussion on Clubhouse about these attacks and what we can do and need to do to end these anti-Asian attacks and sentiments. As inspiring and empowering as this was, I was a little disappointed to see that there seemed to only be Asian faces in this conversation. However, we have to rally our own community first, because how else will we make noise? So I hope to see more allies amplifying our stories. Don't wait for an invitation, but if you were waiting for one, here it is now. If you have questions, don't be afraid to ask. If we don't ask, we don't know. And listen, really listen as we share our stories.
7. Share Our Stories
Social media has been great for amplifying voices and stories. There has been such a lack of coverage on these attacks, until the Asian American community literally started screaming for help and calling on the media to cover these attacks. My own friends didn't realize how bad it was, and if it weren't for social media, I might not even know about all these attacks. So share and repost, because people need to see and know what's going on...and hopefully start caring. Otherwise, people continue to brush these stories off.
8. Support AAPI Organizations
There are a number of AAPI organizations doing great work. To name just a few, consider supporting: Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, Asian American Girl Club, Gold House, and Next Shark.
Thank you for being here, and for supporting the Asian American community. May all our communities come together against racism, because it's EVERYONE VS. RACISM.