On March 16, eight people, mostly Asian women, were murdered in Atlanta, Georgia. This incident is the latest in a disturbing rise of violence and discrimination against Asian Americans. The man who attacked these individuals did not simply have “a bad day” – he committed a racially-motivated hate crime. This tragedy needs to be a wake-up call for local, state, and federal governments to pass legislation that protects the rights of the Asian American community.
Since the pandemic began, nearly 4,000 instances of AAPI discrimination have been reported in the United States. Overall, nearly 70% of incidents were against women and over 40% were against those of Chinese descent. Locally, the Asian community in Kent County is one of the fast-growing populations with a 33% increase over the past ten years.
The events on March 16 have left many of us feeling hopeless and looking for ways to help. One powerful resource is Stop AAPI Hate. The organization was founded in response to the escalation in xenophobia and bigotry resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. It tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, and bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. We recommend visiting their website linked above to report incidents, make a donation, and learn how to support our community’s AAPI population.
Another resource is the Anti-Asian Violence Resources page (click the link). You’ll find a list of resources on this page such as educational resources, organizations to support, how to get involved, and more. Consider bookmarking this and sharing it widely within your network.
KConnect stands with our AAPI communities and condemns the xenophobia, white supremacy, and racism that have been on the rise over the past twelve months. We ask that you also support your AAPI friends, colleagues, and neighbors as they work through this difficult time. For local resources including a business directory, programming, and more, please visit the West Michigan Asian American Association at https://www.wm-aaa.org.