Responding to the situation, nonprofit organization East Bay Toishan Association recently convened the first meeting of its Oakland Chinatown foot patrol group.
Backed by the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, Mental Health Association for Chinese Communities, Asian Pacific Environmental Network and Asian and Pacific Islander Caucus, this unarmed volunteer group will provide additional eyes and ears to deter further anti-Asian attacks. Volunteers will also report incidents, if any, to the Oakland Police Department.
“I’m here to help with reports,” said Officer Mae Phu of the Oakland Police Asian Community Liaison, according to NBC Bay Area. “A person that hopefully they can trust and be able to speak with.”
There are other groups patrolling Chinatown. Among them is Compassion in Oakland, whose volunteers offer to chaperone elderly Asians around the neighborhood.
Stop AAPI Hate, which launched last year in March, received more than 2,800 reports of anti-Asian incidents by the end of 2020. But some believe the attacks are worse than the figures show.
“They’re attacking Asian women, often for cultural reasons. They don’t speak out. They don’t press charges. They don’t speak English well in some cases,” Iona Cheng, who lives in Oakland, told the Washington Post.
The 48-year-old Chinese American epidemiologist said she was also targeted. Last March, someone called her “coronavirus,” and a group of preteens assaulted her in December.
“I can’t walk outside the door of my house and feel safe,” she added. “I just feel like that was taken from me.”
Last week, California committed $1.4 million to the study and documentation of anti-Asian violence.
“The rise in hate incidents against Asian Americans during the pandemic is alarming,” said Assemblyman Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), who secured the funding, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. “But we can’t solve a problem without knowing how big it is. New state funding allows the data gathering to continue, and the research will ultimately lead us to solutions that will make all communities safer.”
Many people might not know this, but NextShark is a small media startup that runs on no outside funding or loans, and with no paywalls or subscription fees, we rely on help from our community and readers like you.
Everything you see today is built by Asians, for Asians to help amplify our voices globally and support each other. However, we still face many difficulties in our industry because of our commitment to accessible and informational Asian news coverage.
We hope you consider making a contribution to NextShark so we can continue to provide you quality journalism that informs, educates, and inspires the Asian community. Even a $1 contribution goes a long way. Thank you for supporting NextShark and our community.