By Natalie C.
If you’ve felt confused or overwhelmed by the information in the media surrounding the #StopAsianHate movement during the past few weeks, read on: this article will be exploring what the movement is, why it was created and how you can support this oh-so-important movement to #StopAsianHate.
What is the #StopAsianHate movement?
The #StopAsianHate movement is a social cause that fights against xenophobic discrimination targeted at Asian-Americans and Pacific-Islanders across the United States. The movement was founded in March of 2020 by Stop AAPI Hate, a nonprofit social organization that “collects data on hate and harassment incidents against Asian-Americans and Pacific-Islanders in the United States” (Hauser).
Why was the #StopAsianHate movement created?
The #StopAsianHate movement was created in response to the recent alarming rise in anti-Asian discrimination; for example, in the past year alone, the NYPD reported that anti-Asian hate crimes “jumped 1900%” in New York City and the Stop AAPI Hate database “received 2,808 reports of anti-Asian discrimination between March 19 and December 31, 2020” (Lang).
This dramatic spike in hate crimes is believed to be directly connected to the “xenophobic rhetoric” surrounding the public reception of the COVID-19 pandemic, one example being many people’s insistence on “blaming” the country of China – and, in turn, its people – for the coronavirus (Lang). Russell Jeung, professor of Asian-American Studies at San Francisco State University and co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate, stated in a TIME article that there is a “‘clear correlation’” between the “‘hate speech’” directed towards Asian-Americans online – fueled by the online and IRL uses of harmful phrases such as “Chinese virus” – and the “‘hate violence directed towards [Asian-Americans].’” Jeung goes on to state that this type of rhetoric “‘gives people license to attack [Asian-Americans]’” and that this has most recently been seen in a slew of attacks against Asian-American senior-citizens (Lang).
More recently and even more tragically, the March 16th Atlanta spa shootings – 6 out of 8 of the victims being Asian-American women – has proven to be yet another horrific example of the harm that anti-Asian rhetoric and prejudice can do as, according to the Stop AAPI Hate organization itself, this tragedy “‘will only exacerbate the fear and pain that the Asian-American community continues to endure’” (Hauser).
How can I support the movement to #StopAsianHate?
There are a variety of ways in which you, dear reader, can support this cause, its activists and the people directly impacted by this rise in anti-Asian discrimination:
If you or someone you know is in a position to donate, I advise you to check out GoFundMe’s official page dedicated to collecting fundraisers to help support various local, national and international AAPI foundations, their community organizers as well as the families of the victims of anti-Asian hate crimes, such as the March 16th Atlanta spa shootings: https://www.gofundme.com/c/act/stop-aapi-hate
If you are not in a position to donate, I encourage you to give your support to your favorite Asian-American or Pacific-Islander artist, musician or content creator online by following them on social media, engaging with their work and recommending their work to your friends and family (some of my favorites that I encourage you to check out are artists Jasmine Chan, Karina Singh and Austin Raymond, musicians Claire Young, mxmtoon and Conan Gray, and content creators Bestdressed, Frederic Chen and Linh Truong).
Last, but most certainly not least, it is integral that, above all else, you educate yourself on the history, stereotypes and harmful ideas associated with Asian-American discrimination, so that you can learn to recognize it and stop it in your day-to-day life. Because this is a broad – and, oftentimes, daunting – topic, I encourage you to narrow your focus by researching the meaning and history behind the “Model Minority Myth.” Together, if we all become dedicated to doing better for our Asian-American and Pacific Islander friends, family and peers, we can combat injustice and help #StopAsianHate.
Stop AAPI Hate – Find petitions, fundraisers, educational resources and more: https://stopasianhate.carrd.co/
Hauser, Christine, et al. “8 Dead in Atlanta Spa Shootings, With Fears of Anti-Asian Bias.” The New York Times, 26 Mar. 2021, www.nytimes.com/live/2021/03/17/us/shooting-atlanta-acworth. Accessed 4 Apr. 2021.
Lang, Cady. “Hate Crimes Against Asian Americans Are on the Rise.” Time, 18 Feb. 2021, time.com/5938482/asian-american-attacks/. Accessed 4 Apr. 2021.