Anti-Asian hate crimes have risen by 150% in 2020, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism. This recent uprise has coincided with COVID-19 spreading across the country and its ties to China. Additionally, on March 16, eight people were shot and killed at Atlanta spas, six of which were Asian American women. This event led to an upsurge Asian Americans speaking out about the racism they have faced in America. Although new anti-hate crime legislation has been introduced to Congress with backing from President Joe Biden, Asian Americans are still fighting for justice. Here are a few ways you can help the Asian American community:
The first step in helping Asian Americans combat racism is to have a strong understanding of Asian American history in the U.S. From the Chinese Massacre of 1871 to Japanese internment camps in World War II, Asian Americans have had a long and detailed history with racism. By having a basic foundational knowledge of this history, you are taking a step towards understanding what Asian Americans have endured in this country. Whether it’s reading online articles, watching documentaries, or reading books written by Asian authors, anyone can take a step towards enhancing their education on Asian Americans.
Evaluate your own biases
Everyone has biases, and although they might not be consciously present in your mind, they still exist. Regardless of your background, it is important for everyone to consistently check their prejudices. Take time to recognize your own privileges, beliefs or prejudices. Additionally, actively listen and learn from other people’s experiences, so that you can consistently improve your perception of thinking in regards to racism in the U.S.
Attending protests, lobbying and spreading awareness will help amplify Asian voices. After the shooting in mid-March, the number of protests against Asian American hate has risen in places such as New York City and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Protests are a great way to establish unity for a cause and help aid Asian Americans. Secondly, lobbying will aid the Asian American community because it brings certain issues to the attention of political figures, who may not have considered those issues otherwise. Lastly, in this digitally-driven age, social media is a great medium through which people can share information and educate others. However, make sure that the information you share on social media is fact-checked and insightful.
A simple and effective way to aid the Asian American community is to donate money to Asian organizations, businesses and families. The New York Magazine compiled a list of 68 places that anyone can donate to, and why those places need the money.