The Korean American Coalition (KAC) vehemently condemns hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community and calls on our community leaders and elected officials to condemn anti-Asian violence and to act in allyship with the AAPI partners to find solutions to protect our community from further unnecessary violence.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 3,800 xenophobic and racist hate crimes* in the United States have been reported to Stop AAPI Hate. Reports of Asian Americans being attacked, spat on, coughed on, threatened, insulted, and killed have been increasing at an alarming rate within the past month and many in the AAPI community are now living in fear for their safety.
In late February 2021, a Korean American U.S. Air Force veteran was senselessly attacked and threatened with racial slurs and discriminatory language in Koreatown, Los Angeles. The rise of violence against Asian Americans recently reached a new height on March 16, 2021 when a gunman targeted several Asian American businesses in Atlanta, Georgia and killed eight people, of which six were women of Asian descent. Despite a clear escalation of violence against the AAPI community, many incidents continue to go unreported. We strongly urge everyone to report any crime by calling your local law enforcement as soon as possible and submit the incident online at Stop AAPI Hate or Asian Americans Advancing Justice.
The experience of being Asian in America does not differentiate based on country of origin. Historically, we’ve seen that an attack on one Asian American group affects us all. Unfortunately, racially charged and derogatory terms used to reference COVID-19 by politicians and various media outlets have tied all AAPI community members as a whole to COVID-19. The racist and divisive rhetoric has significantly contributed to igniting the current anti-Asian sentiment in our country, giving people an easy target to blame for the suffering that we have all shared as a result of COVID-19.
Responding to these attacks requires action. Individually, we must call out and stand up against instances of racism. Creating true diversity and inclusion is a responsibility that must be performed daily, and which will cut across many years. All of us here at KAC will stand with our allies to fight back against racism and violence directed at AAPI and all marginalized communities. We encourage everyone to take a collective step with us against AAPI hate.
Here’s how you can help:
- Report hate incident and crime activity by doing the following:
- If you have been a victim of, or witness to, any suspected hate crime, contact your local law enforcement immediately.
- Report online at Stop AAPI Hate or at Asian Americans Advancing Justice. They provide in-language support including Korean, Chinese, Tagalog, and more.
- Report discriminatory incidents on the Anti-Defamation League website.
- Read the How to Report a Hate Crime booklet and learn about what constitutes a hate incident/crime, your rights and prevention tips. Booklets available in Korean/English and six other languages.
- Join your company/organization’s Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) group to partner up with fellow allies to bring awareness to the anti-Asian hate and violence that’s happening across our communities.
- Call your elected officials to take more explicit, concrete action to address anti-Asian hate. Urge them to use language that promotes inclusivity, and to avoid use of racially divisive and incendiary language.
*STOP AAPI HATE 2020-2021 National Report (March 16, 2021)