Anti-Asian hate: Silence is not an option and allyship needs to be more than a hashtag - Generocity Philly

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Mar. 18, 2021 8:31 am

Anti-Asian hate: Silence is not an option and allyship needs to be more than a hashtag

Guest columnist Ami Patel Hopkins implores her fellow educators to create spaces for students to speak about what happened in Atlanta and to empower them to dismantle inequities and oppression.

The cover of the Journal of Asian American Studies from October 2020 featuring an illustration by Swedish-Korean comic book artist Lisa Wool-Rim Sjöblom.

(Photo from chung.woolrim on Instagram)

This guest column was written by Ami Patel Hopkins. It represents her individual opinion and does not represent the viewpoints of organizations with which she is affiliated either professionally or personally.
Another week of thinking about how the inaction of adults is impacting the future of our country, our children.

Eight people were killed in Atlanta on Tuesday, March 16. Six of the victims were of Asian descent. Captain Jay Baker (a sheriff’s office spokesperson) described the suspect’s actions as:

“Long was pretty much fed up and kind of at the end of his rope. Yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did…apparently has an issue, what he considers a sex addiction, and sees these locations … [as] a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate.”

In my opinion, those comments are an excuse to avoid calling out what really happened: domestic terrorism.

I observe from text exchanges and social media posts that my friends and colleagues who identify as Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) are hurting and fearful.  Trevor Noah’s remarks resonated with me:  “The Atlanta shooter blamed a specific race of people for his problems, and then murdered them because of it. If that’s not racism, then the word has no meaning.”

Silence is not an option and allyship needs to be more than a hashtag.

Fellow educators, it is important that we create spaces for our students to speak about what happened and to empower them to dismantle the inequities and oppression in our systems. Marginalized populations in our country need to be seen, heard and valued.

The data has been there for the rise in AAPI hate — and we need to spread awareness of this in our communities and networks. The Stop AAPI Hate National Report analyzes the 3,795 incidents received by the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center from March 19, 2020 to February 28, 2021. It is important to note that these are only the incidents that have been reported to the center and do not include the number of AAPI hate incidents that have actually occurred.

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The fight for equity must continue and anti-racism needs to be the norm in society. Below I have categorized resources that I found helpful as I navigate how to be an ally for my AAPI friends, students, and colleagues.

My go-to resources

Mental health

Awareness and education

Allyship and action

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