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Thought Leadership Philanthropy

Dealing with xenophobia and racism spurred by COVID-19

By Courtney Carmichael, Community Fellow

With the rapid spread of the coronavirus over the past few weeks, acts of xenophobia and racism aimed towards Chinese Americans and other Asian Americans have also been on the rise. From micro-aggressions and discriminatory business practices to verbal and physical attacks, Asian Americans are experiencing an alarming wave of racist incidents. According to NBC, there were 1,000 reported incidents between January 28 and February 24. Seeing these instances of xenophobia, discrimination and racism can be infuriating and debilitating but there are tangible ways to fight back against this hate and make an impact.

First, you can report incidents of anti-Asian American hate, harassment or discrimination on the Stop AAPI Hate website, launched by the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON) and Chinese for Affirmative Action. This website gives individuals access to incident forms, available in eight languages, where they can report xenophobic and racist incidents they’ve either witnessed or experienced. Since its launch on March 19, over 670 racist acts have been reported, averaging almost 100 reports daily. These reports shed light on hate Asian American’s are experiencing with one respondent saying “the sting of her racism and coldness towards me made me feel less than…dehumanized.” The incident reports are made available to the public through Stop AAPI Hate’s press releases and their weekly reports.

An additional way to help is to call out the racism and xenophobia. This point was made on the Anti-Defamation League’s (ADL) Fighting Hate from Home webinar where CEO and National Director, Jonathan Greenblatt stated there are three ways to do this:

  • Speak up and say something
  • Share facts
  • Show strength by being an up stander and not a bystander

Lastly, you can donate to local nonprofits supporting the needs of Asian Americans in your community. The Greater Atlanta COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, established by the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta and the United Way of Greater Atlanta, recently provided a grant to the Center for Pan Asian Community Services (CPACS), which services Asian Americans, especially women, children and families with low incomes. CPACS has shifted their focus to COVID-19 response by making sure the latest news and updates are available and accessible in different languages, providing food and supply deliveries to senior community and supporting community health centers and domestic violence shelters with their influx in requests and admissions.

These are precarious times we are living in but we all can help our neighbors by simply donating, supporting and standing up against hate.

Feature photo by photo by Tim Mossholder via Unsplash.

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