Friday, January 20, 2017

Website created to report hate incidents against the AAPI community

Swastikas were etched into the glass of the Canaan Taiwanese Christian Church in San Jose

ASIAN AMERICANS ADVANCING JUSTICE has launched a new website to track incidents of hate plaguing the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities. Amidst the racially-charged atmosphere of today’s political climate, many Asian/Americans and Pacific Islanders are fearful.

“While hate crimes and incidents have surged to the top of news coverage leading up to and following the November 8 election, attacks against AAPIs have received little attention,” said Stewart Kwoh, Executive Director of AAAJ-LA. “But anecdotally, Advancing Justice has heard of a number of incidents including physical threats and attacks as well as vandalism and hate messages, all targeting Asian Americans.”

A coalition of five legal groups advocating for civil and human rights, AAAJ saw the need to record and share these incidents. AAPI communities are struggling with racism much more so than many may think.

In the first 10 days after the November 8 election, there were around 900 reported incidents of hate in the United States, according to Mee Moua, president and executive director, Advancing Justice – AAJC.

Anti-Muslim and anti-Chinese hate crimes have especially been on the rise. In November, several mosques across the country were sent hate letters calling for genocide and calling Muslims “children of Satan”; this is only one of the plethora of hate incidents reported, not to mention the many more that likely go unreported. Calls by Trump for a Muslim registry are an eerie reminder of Japanese incarceration during World War II.

Many of the perpetrators have pointed to the election of Donald Trump and may believe his election gives them the green light to act out violently on their racist feelings not only against AAPIs, Muslims, and Hindus, but also Blacks, Latinos and Jews.

We cannot stay silent when our communities become victims of hate speech or harassment,” said Moua.

Advancing Justice–Asian Law Caucus Executive Director Aarti Kohli said this climate of hate makes the website dubbed www.standagainsthatred.org a necessity.

“While victims of hate crimes should contact their local law enforcement to report a crime or file a complaint, we recognize that many in our communities experience hate incidents where they may not want a police response. This website allows victims of hate in our communities to share their experiences with us, such as hate speech, harassment, bullying, and other incidents, including criminal conduct, and have their voices heard.”

To report an incident, or to read the stories of victims, visit www.standagainsthatred.org.

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