Faced with new wave of hate attacks against Asian-American women, they demand education and services

Since March 2020, the web portal Stop AAPI Hate has recorded 10,370 reports of hate incidents against Asian American women, especially older women. Of the total sum, 16% have been physically violent attacks, and older women have been the main target of the attacks. For this reason, the defenders of this community work on different fronts to stop the attacks motivated by racial hatred.

During the video conference: “Beyond Hate: Asian American Women Respond to Rise in Hate Attacks,” hosted by Ethnic Media Services, several women advocates discussed how to leave hate behind and strategies to keep communities safe. .

Sung Yeon Choimorrow, director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, said a survey showed that with the pandemic, women have experienced an increase in harassment based on their race and gender, which is not surprising.

“More than 70% of Asian American and Pacific Islander women who voted in the 2020 election disclosed that they experienced some form of harassment or discrimination between June 2019 and January 2021.”

She recalled how the first Asian American woman brought to the United States was put on display by a New York businessman.

Women defenders of the Asian-American community in the United States. (Courtesy of Ethnic Media Servies)

“I wanted everyone to see how he ate, his little feet, the color of his skin, his face, and the way he spoke Chinese. It was a form of entertainment. And that has influenced Americans’ perception of Asian women to this day.”

Then in 1850 there was a law that excluded East Asian women from traveling without male relatives, because they were assumed to be prostitutes.

It would come later in 1883 the Chinese Exclusion Act and in 1942 the Second World War that brought a lot of fear to the Japanese-Americans.

She noted that the way Asian women have been portrayed in the media over the last century also plays a role in how they are treated by the general public in the United States.

“We are usually described as The Asian Girl, The China Doll, lotus flower and in other unfavorable terms that hypersexualize Asian women and make the public think they are easy targets for sexual harassment and other forms.”

He added that in 1966, sociologist William Peterson created the stereotype that Asian Americans are smart, hardworking, submissive and quiet, which has led to vulnerability and harassment, experienced even more during the pandemic.

The image of the heroine grandmother of San Francisco appears in protests against racism. (Getty Images)

“A Times article labeled Asian American children as Child Prodigies. All of this creates an environment of hostility and insecurity, especially for women, but even more so for children.”

And he discussed the case of a 9-year-old Chinese-American girl who was teased for eating dumplings at school lunch.

In the case of the elderly, he said that they have been attacked more because of their vulnerability as they are older. “There is a perception that they tend to underreport because they don’t speak enough English and don’t know how to navigate the legal system.”

Marita Etcubañez, director of strategic initiatives of the non-profit organization Asian Americans Advancing Justicee, said hate crimes and incidents are still underreported.

But at the same time they have seen that more people demand community solutions.

“It has become clear that people are eager to learn what they can do to stop Asian bullying and hate.”

He revealed that they have virtually trained just under 50,000 people, who have become a community of color ready to take action when they see or experience harassment and hate.

Older adults in the Asian community have been the biggest victims of hate crimes. (Getty Images)

But they have also worked on a policy change. This is how they got the Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act passed, a law that improves data collection systems and includes training for police agencies.

It also creates state-level hotlines to report hate crimes, while also offering supportive social services.

“Our job has been to advocate for accessible programs and services in language and culture.”

And he added that they are advocating for Asian American history to be included in public school curricula.

Michelle Kang, secretary general of the Atlanta Korean Committee against Asian Hate, He said they were furious after the March 17 massacre at Atlanta spas in which six Asian women were killed.

“At a vigil, the Atlanta community demanded protection from local, state and federal governments.”

They also called for Asian American history to be included in the K-12 curriculum to address misunderstandings and lack of knowledge about the role of Asian migration since the mid-1800s.

“It’s a fight to ensure that our voices as Asians, African Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders and Native Americans are not forgotten in American history, and that every student sees themselves in the curriculum.”

Hate crimes against Asians grow 76% reports Los Angeles County
Activists protest violence against the Asian community in Los Angeles. (Getty Images)

Sasanna Yee, an advocate who teaches victims yoga to help them through their tragedy, lost her grandmother when she was attacked outside her home in a San Francisco park in January 2019, shortly before the pandemic.

“The young man who attacked her and broke her skull and ribs was 17 years old. What happened? What made him do such a thing? He must have been very bad, ”she says that she wondered after the tragedy.

And she says that her own journey of healing from chronic pain, anxiety and depression helped her to be compassionate with others.

“The work that I have done since 2019 has been to help those who suffer, Asians, African Americans and Latinos.”

Yee recommended staying in touch with how we feel so that when we’re out on the streets, we stay aware of our surroundings, whether it’s making connections or moving away from danger.

“My job is to bring power back to monolingual immigrants who cannot express themselves through language, but need to feel that their body is strong enough to cry out for help or find a strong position.”