Stop AAPI hate. In solidarity with the Asian American Pacific Islander community, we stand against white supremacy, violence, misogyny, and xenophobia. We ask you to join us in learning and acting to address historic patterns of racial injustice, especially toward the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, and their implications for our personal and work lives.
The pandemic has enabled targeted violence, hate crimes, and scapegoating against the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Racism against the AAPI community has dated back to at least the early 19th century in the United States. Beginning with hostility, hatred, violence, and racist legislation targeted at Chinese immigrants (for example, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882), many Asian and Pacific Islander nationalities and ethnicities that have immigrated to the United States have repeatedly endured alienation, harassment, and discrimination. Anti-Asian hatred and prejudicial practices continued to occur throughout the 20th century with examples including the denigration of Filipinos to justify continued US colonial rule in the islands of the Philippines and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Now in the 21st century, anti-Asian and Pacific Islander racism persists. Fear, stigmatization, and violence towards the AAPI community surged during the 2003 SARS outbreak and history has repeated itself during the COVID-19 pandemic.
From March 19, 2020 to February 28, 2021, 3,795 firsthand accounts of anti-Asian hate have been recorded in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, including Austin and other major Texas cities. These reported incidents only represent a fraction of the hate directed against the AAPI community as the Pew Research Center found that 31% of Asian Americans have been subjected to racial slurs or racist jokes since the beginning of the pandemic. With that said, the number of hate incidents reported to Stop AAPI Hate and the trends within the data demonstrate Asian Americans’ vulnerability to racism and the types of discrimination they face:
- Nearly 70 percent of hate incidents are happening to women with reports from women coming in 2.3 times more than men
- People of all races and ethnicities are targeted with Chinese people as the largest ethnicity experiencing hate (42.2%)
- Youths (0 to 17 years old) and seniors (60 years and older) make up 12.6% and 6.2% of total incidents respectively
- Verbal harassment (68.1%) and deliberate avoidance or shunning of Asian Americans (20.5%) are the two largest types of discrimination being faced
- Businesses (35.4%) and public streets (25.3%) are the primary sites where this discrimination is occurring
- California (45%) and New York (14%) lead the country in the number of hate incident reports, and Texas (3%) is listed among the top 10 states
We further acknowledge that violence and hatred are even more prevalent at the intersections of social identities. AAPI women are bearing the brunt of this wave of violence. This is made all too evident from the first statistic above and from the horrific recent events in Atlanta resulting in the deaths of 9 people, 6 of whom were Asian women: Xiaojie Tan (49), Daoyou Feng (44), Hyun Jung Grant (51), Suncha Kim (69), Soon Chung Park (74), and Yong Ae Yue (63). We want to recognize the disparate impact on the intersectional identity of Asian women who are often exoticized and objectified in our broader culture as well as viewed through the mythical “model minority” lens.
The Diversity Action Committee will:
Following from our core mission and our racial justice statement from last year in June:
- We commit to engage our community, our colleagues, and our patrons in the ongoing conversation and movement toward racial justice;
- commit to having explicit conversations and educational opportunities within our committee about racial discrimination and our complicity in it;
- make more explicit in our conversations and programs that racism impacts many different communities, including some that are often overlooked, including AAPI;
- engage staff with how to interrupt racism, how to talk about racism, and how to be allies and upstanders (blog posts, webinars, readings, digital space, etc.).
What you can do:
In addition to ongoing and upcoming programming, education, and communications, we have provided a list of resources on how to have conversations with your colleagues and how to be an upstander and ally. These resources are meant to supplement ongoing education in the persistent advocacy for racial justice.
- Report anti-Asian violence
- Review safety tips for those experiencing or witnessing hate
- Intervene as a bystander (AAJC/Hollaback Training Sessions and Guide to Bystander Intervention)
- Speak up when you hear microaggressions toward the AAPI community
- Start conversations with your non-Asian friends, family, and coworkers to raise awareness about the recent wave of anti-Asian hate crimes
- Donate in support AAPI communities and businesses
- Get involved with the ongoing work of a broad range of advocacy groups (such as, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, AAPI Women Lead, National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, Stop AAPI Hate, Asian Mental Health Collective, National Queer Asian Pacific Islander Alliance, Empowered Pacific Islander Communities, South Asian Americans Leading Together)
- Follow up on additional opportunities and resources shared in similar statements from UT Austin’s leadership and campus departments, centers, and institutes
- DAC committee member Stacy Ogilvie’s blog post to be published soon – we’ll follow up when it’s ready
- Watch Asian Americans (PBS documentary series on the history of Asians in America) and #AsianAmCovidStories (YouTube documentary series exploring Asian Americans’ experiences and challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic)
- Listen to Self Evident: Asian American’s Stories (a podcast that aims to challenge assumptions about Asian Americans)
- Read articles and books to become familiar with the Asian American experience
- Anti-Asian Violence in US Demands Response (3 min read)
- The Long History of US racism against Asian Americans, from ‘Yellow Peril’ to ‘Model Minority’ to the ‘Chinese Virus’ (7 min read)
- Why Some Asian Americans Are Staying Silent About the Ongoing Hate Crimes (9 min read)
- The Muddled History of Anti-Asian Violence (13 min read)
- Working in Solidarity to Address Anti-Asian Violence and Xenophobia (9 min read)
- Minor Feelings: An Asian American Reckoning by Cathy Park Hong
- Yellow: Race in America Beyond Black and White by Frank H. Wu
- Revisit what it means to be an ally (What is Allyship? and Asian American Racial Justice Toolkit)
- Learn about coded language and what makes a hate crime in the US
- Keep learning (Cornell University’s Anti-Racism Resources for the AAPI Community)