Why We Need Asian American Allyship

In recent months, attacks on Asian Americans – particularly the elderly – have increased surrounding the contempt, frustration, and anti-Asian racist blame on their communities in regards to the US’s response to COVID-19.

Unfortunately, racism and violence is not something new to Asian American communities, nor is it something that happened only because of the pandemic. However, language used in response to COVID-19 over the past year has greatly contributed to the rise in anti-Asian racism.

What’s happening?

  • In San Francisco, an 84-year-old Thai grandfather was shoved to his death while talking a walk.
  • In Oakland, California’s Chinatown, a 91-year-old Asian man was forcefully pushed to the ground after instigating nothing.
  • In California’s Bay Area, an Asian grandmother was attacked and robbed.
  • In New York City, a 61-year-old Filipino man is slashed across the face while riding the subway.

These are just a few of the attacks Asian Americans have endured over the past few weeks.

Throughout 2020, Asian-owned businesses have suffered greatly, with many Asian employees experiencing workplace discrimination when looking for new jobs.

Why is it happening?

Former President Trump using phrases such as “kung flu” and “the Chinese virus” to describe COVID-19 has influenced the frustration and hatred many Americans have surrounding the virus and translated those feelings into hatred for Asian-Americans, who have shared that they’ve seen an increase in people expressing racist views surrounding them since lockdown restrictions have been put in place in the US. (Pew Research)

What can you do to help?

  • Educate yourself on topics regarding racism around Asian Americans and Asian American communities.
  • Bring awareness to the rise of racism against Asians in the US and share what you learn with others in an effort to bring acceptance and understanding to conversations.
  • Amplify the voices of Asian Americans and Asian advocates online, in workspaces, and your communities.
  • Share the content of Asian creators and support them in their efforts to use art and advocacy as self-expression.
  • Report any instances of anti-Asian attacks or assault that happen locally around you to StopAAPIHate.org.
  • Include Asian Americans in your activism.
  • Donate to organizations and funding for victims that help to enact safety and heal in Asian communities.

Below are a list of organizations accepting donations in support of Asian communities either statewide or on a national scale.

  • Send Chinatown Our Love – providing an online platform to low-tech, cash-only, Asian-owned small businesses that have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Support local merchants by making a donation or purchasing a voucher from them.
  • Asian Mental Health Collective – building a community for Asian mental health support.
  • Asian American Journalists Association – bringing together journalists and media professionals to advance diversity in newsrooms and ensure fair and accurate coverage of communities of color.
  • Stop AAPI Hate – donations to Stop AAPI Hate enables the organization to track and respond to reported Asian hate crimes while combatting racism and xenophobia across the Us.
  • Save Our Chinatowns – a grassroots initiative passionate about supporting Chinatown communities in the Bay Area through art, conversation, and shared love of food.
  • Asian American Youth Leadership Empowerment and Development – supporting low-income and underserved Asian Pacific American youth through educational empowerment, identity development, and leadership opportunities through after school, summer, and mentoring programs.
  • Korean American Coalition Metro Atlanta – a non-profit organization dedicated to service for the enhancement and benefit of the Korean-American community in Georgia.
  • Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance – promotes political education and voter registration programs among AAPIs, and to the training, empowerment, and leadership of AAPIs within the labor movement and APA community.
  • Japanese American Citizens League – a national organization whose mission is to secure and safeguard the civil and human rights of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans and all communities who are affected by injustice and bigotry.
  • AAPI Women Lead – aims to strengthen the progressive political and social platforms of Asian and Pacific Islander communities in the US through the leadership of self-identified AAPI women and girls.