AAJC, Asian American Groups Are Documenting Racist and Xenophobic Attacks Because of Coronavirus

coronavirus xenophobia

Asian American groups are creating websites to document and condemn incidents of racism and attacks against people of Asian descent in the U.S.

The collective effort is a response to the growing number of hate crimes linked to the COVID-19 outbreak, AsAm News reports.

Among the groups is Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC), which announced through its website on Thursday a partnership with Communities Against Hate.

Meanwhile, groups including the Chinese for Affirmative Action, the Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council (A3PCON) and the San Francisco State Asians American Studies Department are launching their own center where people can report hate crimes.

“First and foremost, we want community members to know they are not alone; they can speak out and help stop the spread of bigotry. Secondly, the collected data will allow us to assess the extent and magnitude of these incidents and to develop strategic interventions,“ Cynthia Choi, the Co-Executive Director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, was quoted as saying.

San Francisco State Asian American Studies Department chair Russell Jeung pointed out how statements made by President Trump labeling COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus” can fuel xenophobia.

 

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“In our research on news articles, we see that following inflammatory comments, there’s an increase of racist incidents against Asian Americans,” Jeung noted. “Clearly, with such political framing, Asians of different ethnicities are being racially profiled as a foreign threat.”

According to A3PCON Executive Director Manjusha Kulkarni, the center welcomes personal stories from victims of such attacks and prejudice related to the coronavirus outbreak.

“We are currently providing support to a child who had to go to the emergency room after he was assaulted and accused by bullies of having the coronavirus, and so that tells us we may need to work with schools to address shunning and school bullying but we need to know how widespread it is,” Kulkarni said.

Victims of discrimination are encouraged to submit an incident report to make it easier for AAJC and other groups to monitor hate crimes across the country. 

“By sharing what you experienced or witnessed, you can educate the public, empower others, show service providers where help is needed, and strengthen advocacy efforts for hate crimes response and prevention” AAJC’s website states.

Hate crimes reported through the website do not automatically alert authorities about the incident. Seeking assistance from law enforcement would still require filing a complaint via the local police unit.

Feature Image via @asianswithattitudes,@jackfroot

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