People of Asian descent in the United States need our help right now.
Hate crimes against Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and other Asians in our country have been skyrocketing since early 2020–and those are just the ones that get reported or caught on camera.
I have always found it easier to be genuinely helpful when I better understand a situation. Ignorance can be the cause not only of intentional harm, it can get in the way of good intentions. Since I grew up white and that’s all I have first-hand experience with, I have been listening, reading, watching people of Asian descent who are open to sharing their stories, history, personal experiences, and more.
Below I’ve listed some of the resources I’ve found so far that are teaching me how to be a part of the solution to this horrific problem, as well as how we got here in the first place.
Now, if you want to say something to show your support ASAP, but are afraid of saying the wrong thing because you’re still learning, my advice is to keep it simple. Some of the best messages I have seen have been short statements, simple hashtags, shared graphics that show the poster cares.
I encourage us all to speak up, make it known that there are a LOT of individuals out there who have the backs of those being targeted. Because together we can make this country do better until it is better.
Why This Wave of Anti-Asian Racism Feels Different
The author Cathy Park Hong sees the recent upsurge in violence as a turning point for Asian Americans.
By Morgan Ome, Assistant editor at The Atlantic
“Relevant to the horrific killings in Atlanta, I think more discussions of the yellow peril myth (the racist idea that East Asians are taking over the U.S. and endangering “Americans”) need to emphasize the sexual and gender politics of this racist myth.”
A thread by Tamara K Nopper.
Ignoring The History Of Anti-Asian Racism Is Another Form Of Violence
By Connie Wun for Elle Magazine
Asian Americans Are Calling on Allies in Response to a Wave of Violence
Three recent attacks of senior citizens show the continued rise of anti-Asian racism during the COVID-19 pandemic.
By Bettina Makalintal for Vice
Anti-Asian Racism Is Taking a Mental and Emotional Toll on Me. It’s exhausting.
By Nancy Wang Yuen, Ph.D. for Self Magazine
Please read author Stephan Lee’s experience and know he’s ABSOLUTELY not the only AAPI person who has been treated like this by assaulters, onlookers, and police. Then do the work to prevent it in the future.
The Asian Author Alliance directory of Asian authors
Asian Author Alliance is happy to present a Directory of Asian Kidlit Authors as a way to help others discover and amplify Asian voices and stories!
The Asian Readathon list of books by Asian authors
The 2019 Asian Readathon challenge for Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, searchable by genre or specific ethnicity.
Google book lists that include authors from all over Asia and the Pacific islands, and get your whole family reading in the genres they love best.
Anti-Asian Violence Resources List: Resources to educate, allyship, places to donate, ways to report incidents, mental health support, other actions. So, technically this one is learn and help.
How to support the AAPI community in a time of hate and violence: A Resource List.
Speak Up: Responding to Everyday Bigotry
30+ scenario-specific advice on how to respond to bigotry at home, work, school, and beyond by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Bystander intervention training to stop Anti-Asian/American and xenophobic harassment.
Hollaback! is a global, people-powered movement to end harassment — in all its forms. They teach people to take action, and to reach across their own identities to ally with others and establish a united front against harassment each time we witness it.
Think before you post.
This means checking the validity of the report, article, or news story before sharing it. It also means looking to those you are trying to help via posting on social media for guidance on how to do so in a way that does not cause them harm.
Report racist posts, comments, groups, images, and more on social media.
It’s a quick and easy way to show support and push back on hateful posts–even if they aren’t directed at you. See a harmful reply to someone else’s post? Do something about it. Here’s how to do it on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube.
Directly support the Asian community’s businesses.
Shop their stores (online and in person). Get take-out from their restaurants. Buy their books or services. Leave positive customer feedback in appropriate places (like Yelp for restaurants, or Amazon/Goodreads for books), then give the business a shout-out on your own social media (making sure to link to the business/service/product).
Here are eight ways to help the authors whose books you’ve loved or learned from get more eyes on their work.
Vote people into positions of power who value true equality, and speak up against those who are already in power and do not. Every vote, every voice adds up.
Because I’m sure I’m not the only one here for whom geography isn’t a strong suit, here’s a friendly reminder that Asia includes Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cambodia, China, Cyprus, Georgia, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Japan, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, Maldives, Mongolia, Myanmar, Nepal, North Korea, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Syria, Taiwan, Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, and Yemen.
That’s a lot to hold under the single umbrella descriptor of “Asian.” (Especially because some people still include Pacific Islanders under it, too.)
So while I am following the word-choice lead of the voices who know best, let’s try to remember that “Asian” can mean so very many different cultures, people, histories, and stories, then respect each individual under that umbrella for the unique, multifaceted, valued human being they are.
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE:
- Listen and Learn and Do the Work
- Make it An Opportunity to Learn
- How to Make Sure Your Kids Have a Diverse Bookshelf (and Actually Read from It)
- Antiracist and Social Issue Reads: Books for All Ages
- 5 Steps for More Factual Social Media News
Kim Bongiorno is a freelance writer and author. You can find her on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram any day, or read her most recent essay “Reading is Fundamental (to Raising Teenagers)” in the anthology I JUST WANT TO HANG OUT WITH YOU.
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