Attacks on AAPI Receive National Attention
Only weeks ago much of the country had not heard about the rising tide of violence and harassment against Asian Americans — but that’s changed dramatically over the last week. As anti-Asian sentiment continues to rise in additional cities and major celebrities have raised their voices, mainstream media have taken notice of the protests and organizing efforts to keep our communities safe. We have not yet stopped the violence, including a random attack on an Asian elder in San Diego, a man aggressively following an NYC photographer and shouting racial epithets at her, and more random attacks near NYC public transit near Times Square and Flushing.
According to the Asian American Federation of NY, “Since 2020 and to date, there have been approximately 500 reports of bias incidents and hate crimes directed at our community in New York City, but we know that the number is a fraction of the actual number, as the majority of incidents go unreported.” The coalition had several recommendations on next steps outlined in their recent statement and individuals can download Stay Safe from Hate Booklet: How to Protect Yourself in Threatening Situations. Available in English, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Korean, Tagalog, Vietnamese.
Additional organizing includes #EnoughIsEnough, a grassroots campaign initiative by Asian American business owners in New York City who came together to take action on the recent surge in nationwide hate crimes against the Asian American community. They’re providing meals to underserved and food insecure Asian, Black, and Latino communities across the city. So far they’ve raised more than $44,000, and all donors will receive a link to their chef-led Kitchen Rodeo virtual cooking class on February 22 called “Lunar Banquet for Uncle Vicha.”
Intersectional rallies in Oakland and San Francisco brought together Asian Americans and allies last weekend, with the threat of danger around Lunar New Year driving a sense of urgency across the country. In San Francisco, supporters gathered near City Hall to denounce the attacks, while hundreds gathered in Oakland the day before to show their solidarity. Both rallies highlighted the damaging role racism has played against Asian Americans, while also acknowledging anti-Black racism’s destructive and pervasive role in America.
National leaders are speaking up in solidarity with the Asian American community as well. On Friday, February 19, at 11:30 am ET, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), and Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) – collectively known as the Tri-Caucus — and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi will hold a press conference to denounce the recent wave of violence. The press conference can be watched here on CAPAC’s Facebook page.
NBC’s Today Show and Rolling Stone and several other news outlets spotlighted the violent attacks and local efforts to warn Asian Americans about the growing threats.