Trump fuels anti-Asian hate wave: What to do

03/30/2020, Times Square. NYC

AGN Editor Preface: There’s no question President Trump’s attitude and comments are fueling hostility towards Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI). National organizations are trying to combat the hatred. They take a more generic approach, while others are rooted in community-based heritage and AAPI cultural identity. On a personal level, you owe it to yourself to stand up for yourself and learn many different ways to deal with degrees of hostility. There is no perfect solution as your personality plays a role.

Advice: When taking public transit, choose your seat carefully. Always be ready to exit. Think about what works for you. Do you report? Whom to? For customer complaints consider calling corporate. To relieve your angst, maybe use more trendy tools like Yelp. Be careful the time and place you travel, and map out how to get there before you leave. Don’t feel bad if a bored police officer decides to shadow you. You can even use it to report human trafficking (1-888-373-7888, text 233733).

Editor’s Note: Awhile ago, AGN was concerned we overstated the case in 2017 about the time of the huge Women’s March. The Impeach Trump movement did in fact result in an impeachment verdict on President Donald Trump in December 2019. However it seemed many distractions delayed the President’s effective response to COVID-19. While reactionary outlets are going along with the blame-game, many mainstream and alternative media are exposing the facts and fighting back hard even using social media (#TrumpGenocide).

AAPI Legal Resources:

Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) led by CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27) issued a press release on February 26, 2020 entitled “As Coronavirus Fears Incite Violence, CAPAC Members Urge Colleagues to Not Stoke Xenophobia.” Among remarks:

“As elected representatives, we have a responsibility during a public health crisis to use our unique platform to calm our constituents fears, not stoke them. We therefore urge all Members of Congress to share only confirmed and verifiable information about COVID-19 and dispel misinformation,” wrote the Members. “Let us be clear: the dissemination of false information about COVID-19 is dangerous for public health and for American citizens who are increasingly becoming the victims of racist and xenophobic attacks. Our constituents are understandably worried about the spread of this disease and are looking to us for guidance and reassurance. But sharing information or unconfirmed reports runs the risk of increasing fears and inciting violence. That is why we encourage you to consult with the CDC and the World Health Organization, as well as your local public health agencies, to ensure that your advice to constituents is accurate and does not stoke unfounded fears.”

CAPAC is working hard to ensure that COVID-19 resources are translated for all tax-paying constituents; also that AAPI small businesses, part-time and low-income workers receive the access they deserve for health, grants, assistance, and other protections. Here is the link to the latest news: https://capac-chu.house.gov/

Asian Americans Advancing Justice/Asian Law Caucus has constructed a webpage “Coronavirus/COVID-19 Resources to Stand Against Racism.” There are many resources listed; however, the Stop Hate project is not designed specifically for AAPI; so if you are looking for relief, the Race Card Project may actually be more helpful. We found the Hollaback! partnership resources brochure, “Show Up, Your Guide to Bystander Intervention,” helpful if strangely illustrated. Anyway all the resources are free including Bystander Intervention Virtual Trainings. Here is the current list of free webinars:

Stand Against Hate -- Free Webinars

Bystander Intervention Virtual Trainings (screenshot from Advancing Justice)

Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON) http://www.asianpacificpolicyandplanningcouncil.org/ has many resources designed specifically for AAPI communities especially along the West Coast. AGN has only recently discovered this organization, but among the outstanding commendations is the working-from-within approach where the organization appears more protected from outsider hijacking and appropriation of the message. Here is their Stop AAPI Hate page which has reporting form translations in English, Chinese, Korean, Japanese, Thai, Vietnamese, Khmer, Punjabi, Tagalog, Hmong, Hindi, as well as weekly reports: http://www.asianpacificpolicyandplanningcouncil.org/stop-aapi-hate/

For instance, a review of the report from April 3, 2020 reveals that “AAPI women are harassed at twice the rate of men” which is a sad indictment on the nature of predators who often choose vulnerable populations to intimidate and victimize. It also does not help that the Hollywood/Internet giants encourage or allow sex-worker portrayals of Asian women to populate media searches.

Asian American Journalists Association (AAJA) issued a press release in coordination with other representative journalist associations on March 19, 2020. It was signed by AAJA, Journalism and Women Symposium, National Association of Black Journalists, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, Native American Journalists Association, The Association of LGBTQ Journalists, News Leaders Association, OpenNews, Maynard Institute for Journalism Education, South Asian Journalists Association, Local Online Independent News Publishers, Investigative Reporters and Editors, Online News Association, Society of Professional Journalists, Chicago Headline Club, ACES: The Society for Editing, and Student Press Law Center, and more.

Here is part of their “Joint Statement Denouncing Anti-Asian Racism During the Coronavirus Outbreak“:

In February, AAJA issued guidance urging news outlets to refrain from images and language that fuel xenophobia and racism. We are heartened to see comprehensive and thoughtful coverage from many news outlets, and are grateful for the hard-working journalists covering the outbreak and its impact on all communities.

But harmful language persists, including repeated use of “China coronavirus” or “Chinese coronavirus” despite guidance by the World Health Organization discouraging the use of geographic locations when naming illnesses because it could stigmatize populations associated with those places.

In this time of heightening tensions and fears, it is more important than ever that the media collectively gets it right so that we don’t give others, including politicians and the general public, an excuse to get it wrong. We also fully support and encourage journalists to continue to be vigilant in reporting the growing anti-Asian sentiment tied to the outbreak along with the rhetoric.

As always, we stand ready to be a resource to our members, fellow journalists, partners, and the public.”

Above photo by RefuseFascism.org


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