How you can help combat hate crimes against Asian communities
March 18, 2021
The mass shooting that left eight dead in Atlanta, the majority of them Asian women who worked in spas, has left communities reeling after a marked rise in anti-Asian racism and violent attacks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Delaina Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Soon C. Park, Hyun J. Grant, Suncha Kim and Yong A. Yue died in the shootings.
The gunman told police that his attacks were not motivated by race, something repeated by local enforcement at a press conference about the shootings, which prompted massive backlash online and in the Atlanta community.
South Korean media outlet Chosun Ilbo reported on an interview with a spa employee who said they heard the gunman allegedly say he was “going to kill all Asians.”
Authorities say they are now investigating the shootings as possible hate crimes.
Advocacy groups like Stop AAPI Hate in the U.S. and Fight COVID Racism in Canada have reported surges in hate crimes across North America.
As of Thursday evening, Fight COVID Racism was reporting 944 incidents of anti-Asian hate crimes across Canada during the pandemic.
Canada has a higher number of reported anti-Asian hate crime incidents per Asian capita compared to the U.S., according to Project 1907, with Toronto showing the second-highest rate of cases involving anti-Asian hate crimes among major cities, following Vancouver.
Vancouver saw a 717 per cent increase in anti-Asian hate crimes from 2019 to 2020, according to a report released by the Vancouver Police Department.
In the U.S., women have taken the brunt of the crimes and violence, with women reporting hate incidents at 2.3 times the rate of men, according to a Stop AAPI Hate report.
On Wednesday, Xiao Zhen Xie, an elderly Asian-American woman in San Francisco, Cali. was attacked in the street in yet another incidence of anti-Asian violence.
She fought back and put her attacker in the hospital.
Here are some ways you can help, including reporting incidents, becoming informed and donating to advocacy groups.
HOW TO HELP ASIAN COMMUNITIES RIGHT NOW
Stop AAPI Hate has compiled resources detailing what people can do to assist someone experiencing a racist attack or hate crime.
Here are five ways to help if you witness hate, according to the organization:
- Take action: Approach the targeted person, introduce yourself and offer support.
- Actively listen: Ask before taking any actions and respect the other person’s wishes. Monitor the situation if needed.
- Ignore the attacker: Using your discretion, Stop AAPI Hate says to attempt to calm the situation by using your voice, body language or distractions.
- Accompany: If the situation escalates, invite the targeted person to join you in leaving the area.
- Offer emotional support: Help the other person by asking how they’re feeling and assist them in figuring out what they want to do next.
Social justice organization Hollaback! and Asian Americans Advancing Justice have partnered to create free bystander intervention training to provide skills for identifying and de-escalating anti-Asian and xenophobic harassment and racism.
Stop AAPI Hate also recommends supporting Asian-owned businesses, reaching out to your workplace, schools, faith-based institutions, unions and community groups to issue statements denouncing anti-Asian racism, and encouraging people to report any incidents they see or experience.
Donations can be made directly to support the victims of the Atlanta shooting and their families through the Atlanta chapter of Asian Americans Advancing Justice’s donation page.
Earlier this month GoFundMe launched a crowdfunding effort called #StopAsianHate to highlight fundraisers centred around victims of anti-Asian racism, including the victims of the Atlanta shootings.