Beyond Stopping AAPI Hate

It starts with learning their names.

Delaina Ashley Yaun, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Suncha Kim, Hyun J. Grant, Soon C. Park, and Yong A. Yue, Paul Andre Michels. These are the names of those who were murdered in Atlanta last week – most of these victims were women at work. They leave behind families and communities who are now reeling with grief and unspeakable loss.

The advocacy group “Stop AAPI Hate” said it has received more than 3,700 reports of violence directed at Asian Americans nationwide in the past 12 months, and note that that number is likely VERY low compared to the reality of hate crimes and hate driven incidents experienced last year.

What happened last week is the intersection of racism, white supremacy, sexualization, and toxic masculinity. Women across America have experienced the effects of sexualization and toxic masculinity – Many women in the US have experienced some forms of this, but Asian American women experience it on a vastly more dangerous level compared to their white counterparts because they have to manage the dual burden of racism and sexism. Additionally, Asian women have historically been sexualized and depicted as submissive, or sexually “exotic” throughout decades of American media. A 2016 report by the National Network to End Domestic Violence stated that, “the everyday racism and sexism that Asian women yields deadly results, as this kind of dehumanization creates a climate that makes violence excusable” And more than 70% of the hate crimes reported to “Stop AAPI Hate” were directed at women.

The past year, we have seen leaders at all levels use utterly racist language to describe the COVID-19 Pandemic. Referring to this as ANYTHING but COVID-19 or the Coronavirus has proven to be harmful to public health overall, but more importantly, deadly for our Asian-American communities.

Today, we hold our AAPI family members in our hearts – we know words and statements will never ease the pain this year has brought upon you, your families, and your communities, but you are seen, you are valued, and you are loved.

Also today, we call on other business owners to find ways that you can step up to protect our friends and neighbors of all backgrounds. Passive aggressive, blatantly violent, and subversive racism are ALL harmful and dangerous, and the more proactive we can be in creating spaces that do not tolerate it, the more likely we are in reducing further violence.

THIS IS OUR PROBLEM TO SOLVE. If you own a business, you own a platform for change. Do not allow your privilege to go unused in protecting communities of color.

Step up, and speak up.