This week, eight women - six of them Asian - were murdered in the Atlanta area. As early investigations begin, experts and activists alike are urging police to examine racism alongside sexism in the motivation for the crime.
While the suspect himself claims he was motivated by “sexual addiction,” experts are saying racism cannot be divorced from the conversation because Asian women’s experience has been historically fetishized, promoting a unique susceptibility to sexual and physical violence.
"Saying that this violence is not racially motivated is part of a related history of the denial of racism in the Asian American experience," said Catherine Ceniza Choy, a professor of ethnic studies at the University of California, Berkeley. "Racism and white supremacy have been and tragically continue to be part of the Asian American experience."
Crimes targeting Asian Americans have risen dramatically in the last year since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Stop AAPI Hate documented almost 3,800 instances of discrimination against Asians in the past year. While hate crimes overall declined in 2020, hate crimes against Asian Americans actually rose by 150 percent last year.
Unfortunately, this alarming statistic is not indicative of a new phenomenon. While less talked about in the news, crimes against Asian Americans are not uncommon. Since the start of the pandemic, attacks have increased in both frequency and brutality. A 91-year-old man was shoved to the ground in Oakland’s Chinatown in January. Vichar Ratanapakdee, 94-years-old, was killed earlier this year; another assault left 75-year-old Pak Ho dead. Just this past Monday, Xiao Zhen Xie and Danny Yu Chang were both attacked by the same man, suffering substantial physical injuries and unseen mental and emotional traumas. These heartbreaking stories represent just a small fraction of the violence directed at AAPI communities.
Asian women in particular have experienced additional discrimination and stereotyping. Research shows that 21 percent to 55 percent of Asian women in the U.S. report having experienced intimate physical and/or sexual violence during their lifetimes, according to the Asian Pacific Institute on Gender-Based Violence, compared with about a third of women in the general U.S. population who experience sexual violence.
Bluebird Botanicals stands starkly against this insidious discrimination. Our hearts, minds, and resources are with our Asian communities. Here are a few support resources and some ways you can use your voice, dollars, and time to #StopAsianHate.
How You Can Help
Report Hate Crimes
If you witness a hate crime or violence, report it using one of the forms below. Please note that these forms are for data tracking and do not report to local law enforcement; contact your local police department or another trusted authority if you need immediate assistance.
- Stop AAPI Hate allows you to submit reports about hate crimes and incidents of violence by state.
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice also allows you to submit incident forms to aid in monitoring hate incidents across the country.
Attend a Bystander Training
Silence is a huge barrier to victims getting help and to combating discriminatory violence. Bystander trainings provide education about recognizing these incidents and taking action to better support those impacted.
- Hollaback! and Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC. An online intervention training that can hold a max of 1,000 participants. Please note you must register in advance for all sessions. The next open date that is not at capacity is 11 a.m. MT Monday, April 5.
- No More. NO MORE has partnered with the Avon Foundation for Women to provide free online bystander training programs to educate workplaces and communities.
Organizations have stepped up to provide legal, mental health and other resources to support the AAPI community. Spreading awareness about these resources can help those who need each sort of aid get connected with it.
NAPABA Hate Crimes Task Force - The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA)—a group of 50,000 Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students—has pro bono legal resources available to help local communities in addressing egregious hate-fueled attacks against the Asian American Pacific Islander community.
- Asian Mental Health Collective - The Asian Mental Health Collective aspires to make mental health easily available, approachable, and accessible to Asian communities worldwide through a number of programs and resources.
Asian, Pacific Islander, and South Asian American (APISAA) Therapist Directory. A free search resource that helps locate mental health providers. Therapists can ask to be added to the directory by completing this form.
- Stop AAPI Hate Reports - These reports provide data and insights into the prevalence of violence against the Asian American Pacific Islander community.
Support mutual aid efforts and volunteer
Experts note that promoting community safety doesn’t necessarily mean calling for additional law enforcement. Rather, neighborhood efforts and mutual aid initiatives can make a big difference.
“It’s about creating that community where people feel like they are better protected and that they are not alone,” says John C. Yang, president and executive director of civil rights nonprofit Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAAJ).
Opportunities to get involved in this area are largely local, so spend some time exploring your own community organizations.
Some great leaders in the charge come out of Oakland, CA, and NYC:
- Compassion in Oakland offers chaperones for those in Oakland’s Chinatown neighborhood with the goal of protecting elderly Asians. If you’re local, you can sign up to volunteer. You can also make a donation.
- Main Street Patrol in Flushing, New York is working to educate the public on bystander intervention tactics and seeking volunteers.
Know of a volunteer opportunity or mutual aid effort in your community you’d like to see included here? Email email@example.com.
If you are able to do so, we encourage you to make a donation to support the AAPI community and fight against discriminatory violence.
- Goldhouse GoFundMe. This Asian American advocacy group has compiled a comprehensive fundraising page on GoFundMe featuring local nonprofits by region plus ways to help small businesses and social media toolkits.
The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. Founded in 1974, this organization protects and promotes the civil rights of Asian Americans through combining litigation, advocacy, education, and organizing efforts.
StopAAPIHate. Donations support the tracking of and response to the surge in racism and xenophobia against Asian American communities.
Asian Health Services is a federally-qualified 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization dedicated to the health of our immigrant, refugee, and low-income families.
- AAPI Women Lead. This organization and its #ImReady Movement aims to strengthen the progressive political and social platforms of Asian and Pacific Islander communities in the US and challenge the intersections of violence against and within our communities.
- Red Canary Song. A grassroots collective that aims to advocate for migrant sex workers, support migrant leadership, and fight against unjust policies.
NAPAWF is focused on building power with AAPI women and girls to influence critical decisions that affect our lives, our families, and our communities.
APEN - An environmental justice organization for Asian immigrant and refugee communities.
Save Our Chinatowns. A grassroots initiative passionate about supporting Chinatown communities in the Bay Area through art, conversation, and a shared love of food.
- Send Chinatown Love. This initiative supports restaurants, many of which are immigrant-run and cash-only and so were rejected for government aid.