On May 18, 2021, cities, states, elected officials, influencers and community groups are commemorating the third annual National Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Day Against Bullying and Hate, led by anti-bullying nonprofit Act To Change. Whidbey Community Foundation is committed to ending bullying and hate in the AAPI community and is proud to join this movement.
National AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate is part of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (APAHM) and marks the birthday of Vincent Chin. In 1982, Chin was falsely blamed for the layoffs in the auto industry, and brutally murdered in a hate crime. His murder fueled a national Asian American movement, one that must continue today, in light of the rising xenophobia and hate crimes surrounding COVID-19.
America has a long history of anti-AAPI racism and violence. This brutal history of discrimination includes the Chinese Exclusion Act, Japanese American internment camps, colonization of Hawaiian islands, post 9/11 stereotyping, and use of the “model minority” myth – all of which portrays AAPIs as the “perpetual foreigner”, and evokes feelings of hate and xenophobia against the community.
Every day, kids of all ages suffer from being bullied online and in schools across the country. In the AAPI community, this problem is often compounded by cultural, religious, and linguistic barriers that can keep these youth from seeking and receiving help. And certain AAPI groups – including South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Micronesian, LGBTQ, immigrant, and limited English proficient youth – are more likely to be the targets of bullying. Bullying of Asian American students is more prevalent than in other racial groups. 4 out of 10 Pacific Islander students face bullying.
This issue is now exacerbated by COVID-19. People of Asian descent are being blamed for the virus and targeted in verbal and physical attacks. There have been nearly 4000 cases of reported anti-Asian discrimination within the last year. Elderly members of the community have been slapped, punched, burned and beaten on the streets. Two mass shootings in 2021 have taken the lives of 10 Asian Americans. 1 in 4 Asian American kids reported being bullied due to COVID-19.
We publicly denounce all bullying and hate against the AAPI community, and stand in solidarity with Act To Change and more than 200 community partners to encourage the public to foster dialogue, share resources, and end bullying and hate.
We would also like to encourage others to Sign up as a Partner and join us on May 18th in learning more about how to end bullying and hate in our communities. Together we can create a better future.