There’s so much work that needs to be done, and Asian Americans need alliances. We need to eliminate racial and social injustice, end microaggressions, and end the sexualization and fetishizing of Asian women.
Besides supporting Asian American businesses, and donating to organizations like Hate is a Virus or Advancing Justice. Here are ways to be an ally for the AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islanders) communities.
See Something, Say Something, and DO Something
Avoidance and silence is not a tactic to solving issues. By doing, we can stomp out hate. Don’t let things go unchecked.
1) Stop microaggressions dead in its tracks. Amplifying her privilege, a VP of a company, said to me, “Filipinos make really good housekeepers.” When I wished a woman a Happy New Year sentiment, her response was, “You must not celebrate OUR New Year.” Then pointed to a wine bottle with Chinese writing on it and asked me, ”What does this say?”
These microaggressions are unfortunately not uncommon. The most repeated incivility I’ve received are “you’re really articulate and well-spoken.” Which is usually accompanied with “what’s your background, where are you from, where are your parents from?” And that’s within minutes after meeting someone new.
While the word microaggression, may start with the word micro, the behavior has macro impact. Being sized up by my skin color, is being treated as less than. It’s death by a thousand cuts and I’ve heard them throughout my life.
Call out microaggressions when they occur. A good response to such comments, is to ask for clarification. By asking the question, “‘What do you mean by that?” It’s a fast check-yo-self (’cause you’re about wreck yourself) question that can force the person to rethink their words (and hopefully change behavior).
Which brings me to the next call to action.
2) Don’t be a do nothing bystander when witnessing acts of physical and verbal assaults. This can’t be shouted out any more louder! Especially with the recent attack on a 65 year old Filipina woman who was beaten by a man, whilst on her way to church in New York City. Two security men were seen on camera (who could clearly see what was happening), doing nothing to stop the attack, and not helping her even after the attacker left. Instead, they closed the doors.
Hollaback is a global organization who’s mission is to end harassment of all forms directed towards anyone. Their By Stander Intervention Guide shows how we can all play a role when witnessing such evil behavior. It’s a proactive approach that highlights actions of Distract, Delegate, Delay, Direct and Document tactics.
3) Voice up when there is a lack diverse leadership representation in your schools, government, office and in your community. Organizations and communities that are diverse will proudly promote and announce inclusion within their teams. Those that aren’t, will stay silent and hope to go unnoticed.
4) Report, report, report it! Report all incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders to Stop AAPI Hate. In response to the surmounting xenophobia and bigotry against Asian Americans. The Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council (A3PCON), Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA), and the Asian American Studies Department of San Francisco State University set in motion this reporting center. The more documentation, action and evidence (take video), the better.
Support the No Hate Bill & Covid19 Hate Crimes Act
At the time of writing this, President Biden has urged the Congress to pass two bills. They are the No Hate Bill (sponsored by Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.) and for the second time (yes, you read that correctly a second time) the Covid19 Hate Crimes Act (Rep. Grace Meng, D-N.Y) is being reintroduced because it wasn’t passed in the last Congress. These bills condemn and denounce racism.
To find your local Representative and or Senator’s office call (202) 224-3121 or check out United States Representative – Find your Representative to voice your support to have these bills passed. Time is pressing please act swiftly.
Check in with your fellow Asian Americans
It’s an action that takes nano-seconds and is heart felt. Whether it’s a text, a FB message, a social media DM, an email or dare I say it ….. an actual phone call. Reaching out is a meaningful act of kindness and does wonders for one’s mental health.
‘But what do I say?’ you might ask. Well, that’s up to you, but you can start with sending a text like, ‘Hi, hi! Thinking about you, what’s happening on your end? ‘ or ‘Hello! Long time no talk. I would love to catch up, when you can chat?‘ can do wonders for someone’s sense of well-being.
Volunteer within the Asian American communities
Be a chaperone. It’s infuriating that women are being targeted and it’s heartbreaking that some of these women are grandmothers. Organizations like Compassion in Oakland have volunteers who support, and provide safety for their Asian American community. They also provide a service where you can request a chaperone.
SHOW YOUR LOVE FOR THE AAPI COMMUNITY