As a Chinese-Canadian woman born and raised in Alberta, it has taken me a long time to be able to process the collective trauma from the recent skyrocketing in racist hate crimes against Asian American and Pacific Islanders. Like many in my community, I have been all but successful at finding the words to express how I’ve felt – frustration, sadness, anger and confusion are some of the feelings that come to mind, but these words don’t seem nearly enough to describe how it feels to watch and hear of the many senseless acts of racism and violence.
Since the onset of the pandemic, Anti-Asian hate crimes have increased by 1900% in the USA. Meanwhile in Canada, the largest reported increase in Anti-Asian hate crimes comes from B.C., which reported that Anti-Asian hate crimes have increased by 878% in Vancouver (Vancouver in fact had the highest stat of Anti-Asian hate crimes per capita in all of North America). And as if that wasn’t enough, these stats are oftentimes severely underreported with many of the victims being vulnerable and elderly.
If this leaves you feeling helpless and overwhelmed, just know that there are so many ways we can support Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Please see below for just a few suggestions:
The Asian American and Pacific Islander experiences have long been erased throughout history so it’s important to know that these communities’ intergenerational and collective trauma is excruciatingly deep and extensive. At a time when so much pain is being witnessed and numerous traumas are overlapping and intersecting, it has become paramount that we unify cross-culturally and across communities to liberate ourselves from all forms of hatred, violence and racism. In doing so, we may all collectively heal.
① Acknowledge, amplify and denounce the ongoing anti-Asian hate crimes. Interrupt ALL racism and speak out against white supremacy which continues to pit BIPOC communities against each other.
② End the model minority myth and educate yourself on the deeply diverse experiences of Asian-Americans. We are not a monolith.
③ Volunteer or donate to local chinatown organizations and charities, many of which have struggled throughout the pandemic.
④ Share or follow the stories and experiences of Asian creatives and activists. If you don’t know where to start, here are a few we recommend following: @kimsaira
⑤ Support small businesses and restaurants owned by Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Since the beginning of the pandemic, many have suffered and not yet recovered due to increasing anti-Asian sentiment.
Thank you for reading,