Sacramento, CA – The number of hate crimes against the Asian Pacific Islander American (APIA) community continues to rise at an alarming rate as a result of racist rhetoric surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. APAPA encourages the California APIA community to petition for Governor Gavin Newsom to immediately create a task force, similar to the state of New York, that focuses on investigating and prosecuting anti-Asian hate crimes.
Back in March 2020, there was an incident in Midland, Texas where an Asian family was stabbed outside of a grocery store. Subsequently, there have been several incidents such as the fatal assault of an 84-year-old Thai man in San Francisco, the attack of a 91-year-old Asian man who was pushed face down on a street in Oakland, and the facial slashing of a 61-year-old Filipino man in a New York subway.
These are not isolated incidences. Data from STOP AAPI Hate shows that since March 2020, over 3,000 incidents were reported while New York City’s rate of anti-Asian assaults rose by 1900%. Combined with the bullying of Asian children, verbal assaults and the economic damage affecting APIA small businesses, these attacks reflect a dangerous trend that demands the APIA community to speak up and call for action.
In the Midland incident, APAPA supported United Chinese Americans’ (UCA) efforts in honoring the heroes who took down the perpetrator that attacked the family. APAPA’s Bay Area Region President Henry Yin, San Francisco Chapter Chair Dennis Wu and Greater Oakland Chapter Chair Carl Chan are working with their local communities and elected officials to call for immediate remedial actions against APIA hate crimes. APAPA’s Davis Chapter Chair Ruth Asmundson is also engaged in supporting city council resolutions in Woodland and Yolo County to condemn racism and xenophobia against APIAs.
“The mission of APAPA is to empower APIA through education, leadership and active participation in civic and public affairs,” said Dr. Kenneth Fong, APAPA National Chair. “There is no better time than now for this organization and its members to fulfill these goals by standing and speaking up with loud voices saying, ‘enough is enough!’ ”
President Biden has asked the Attorney General to explore all opportunities to support state and local agencies to combat discrimination. APAPA will be working with its chapters across the country to encourage active engagement with their local communities to do the following:
- Raise awareness of APIA hate crimes by educating the local public about rising anti-Asian hate crimes and encouraging individuals to report incidents to local authorities and the STOP AAPI Hate resource center, https://Stopaapihate.org.
- Form coalitions with community groups to denounce and stand against racist hate crimes.
- Mobilize community support for AB 557, introduced by California Assemblymembers David Chiu (D-San Francisco) and Al Muratsuchi (D-Torrance), that would create a statewide hate crimes hotline housed within the California Department of Justice.
APAPA is a non-profit, non-partisan and grassroots organization. Its mission is to empower Asian and Pacific Islander (API) Americans through education, leadership, and active participation in civic and public affairs.