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  • Christina Anozie

Stop AAPI Hate!

Over the last three years, violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI’s) has been increasing. The first round of violence against AAPI’s occurred in New York in 2019, and included a series of violent assaults. Another wave of deadly shootings occurred in Georgia in 2021.

People hold signs during a rally in response to the killing of Christina Yuna Lee in the Chinatown section of New York, Monday, Feb 14, 2022. Lee was stabbed to death inside her lower Manhattan apartment by a man who followed her from the street into her building, authorities said. Seth Wenig, AP

In early 2022, two women were brutally murdered in New York, less than a month apart from each other. Just this past week, there was a shooting in the Asian Trade District in Dallas, where a person shot and injured three Korean women. Earlier this month there were an additional two shootings in North Dallas, both at businesses owned by Asian Americans. These incidents are a small part of the over 10,000 hate incidents reported against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI’s) in the last three years, marking a 339% rate increase.

For some AAPI’s, the violence has resulted in a complete reorganization of their practices. This may include now traveling in pairs and being in a constant state of hypervigilance. While tactics such as not listening to music while walking, not traveling at night, and sharing your location are ways to help increase safety, they also require the person to be guarded at all times.

If this is not a familiar feeling, imagine the adrenaline that comes from being in a car accident. Adrenaline is a hormone, naturally produced by the body when it is under stress. Adrenaline serves as a protective function of the body, by speeding up breathing, increasing blood pressure, and directing blood flow to the muscles. When produced appropriately, adrenaline can save lives. However, when adrenaline is over-produced, the results can be catastrophic. When you experience a traumatic event, or if you live in constant fear of danger, your brain never receives the signal to stop producing adrenaline. This results in physical consequences, ranging from weight gain, insomnia, and stomach aches to more severe consequences including high blood pressure, and an increased risk of cardiovascular illnesses like heart attacks and stroke. Beyond the physical consequences, there is the weight of the mental exhaustion that comes from living in fear.

To our AAPI clients, families, and supporters: We grieve with you. We are here for you. You are not alone. To our non-AAPI clients, families, and supporters: Part of being a conscious ally is moving from knowing better to doing better. If you do not know where to start, here are a few suggestions:

  • Have a conversation with your loved ones (yes, even your children) about the AAPI violence. Discuss how to speak up when you see AAPI hate.

  • Reach out to an AAPI that you know, and invite them a space to discuss if AAPI is affecting them.

  • Offer support in tangible ways as you are able. This may include: providing rides for AAPI’s or donating to organizations who serve them. Organizations like “Café Maddy Cab” organized by Madeline Park, an Asian American in NY, has been crowd funding to provide rides to AAPI persons who are afraid to use public transportation in light of the recent violence. To date they have raised over $250,000 and provided more than 7,800 free rides to those in need.

In the middle of the darkness, we recognize those who shine bright:

Café Maddy Cab: pays for UBER rides for Asian women, Asian LGBTQ, and Asian elderly in NYC in need.

Stop AAPI Hate: a coalition that tracks incidents of violence and harassment against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the U.S.

Greater Dallas Asian American Chamber of Commerce: advocates for its members in the areas of business, cultural diversity, and economic development.

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