There has been an alarming 1900% rise in Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders xenophobia and bigotry resulting solely from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Amid the dreadful and heartbreaking surge in violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the US, communities, and organizations have stepped up to condemn hate and create a lasting social change. Emam Pham-Tran, a sophomore at Mira Loma, shares that “the increase in AAPI hate that has been seen in recent months was not surprising. My knee-jerk reaction was sympathy, and then anger. I felt sympathy towards all the victims and their families, while also being angry at society as a whole. Society has accepted the mocking of Asians as “normal” and that is unacceptable… It’s time that we see communities unify so that we can see real change…”
Mira Loma’s Chinese Culture Club has launched a campaign aiming to spread awareness and support the AAPI community. Their goal is to shed light on the escalating hate crimes against the AAPI community and support the community through stories of influential Asian-Americans.
The club was inspired by the increasing protests against AAPI xenophobia. Zhuoen Cai, the club’s vice president, shares, “We believe that these acts of violence stem from intolerance, prejudice, and fear. To combat this, our club wanted to shed light on all the good the AAPI community has done.”
Additionally, the club has initiated a podcast to support its campaign. Students conduct interviews with influential Asian-Americans and Asian immigrants in the Sacramento Area. Grace Lio, the president of Jinan Sacramento Sister Cities Corporation was recently interviewed. Both Grace and students from the Chinese club discussed their initiatives to unite the youth of different cultures, to combat the recent hate crimes against the AAPI community.
Chinese club expressed that the use of social media plays a crucial role in supporting the AAPI community, hence, the club has been sharing motivating quotes, influential stories, and student thoughts on AAPI racism. They have also been educating youth groups at Mira Loma about the Asian-American culture and heritage.
The Chinese Club hopes that students, families, and other schools will support the community as well. Cai states, “It will take unity to combat issues of race and ignorance and we hope that our campaigns can be a step in the right direction to help inspire others to support the AAPI community… Change can only come about through effort and coming together. We invite everyone, no matter race, gender, age, or background, to work together and fight for human rights and justice.”
Here are four ways to help support the campaign:
- Combat the lies. Asian-American communities and countries are not responsible for the COVID-19 pandemic. COVID-19 was not and is not based on race.
- Speak up and take a stand. Help end the “Model Minority Myth”, the misconception that Asians achieve a higher degree of success than other demographic groups.
- Shed light. Conduct research and present the facts and stories that mainstream media is not covering.
- Donate. People can either donate directly to a victim of hate crime (and their families), or to an Asian organization. Make sure to research appropriately before deciding to donate to a certain cause.