WASHINGTON, D.C. – NOW is pleased to participate in 2021’s AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate. Given the horrifying rise in hate crimes against Asian-Americans in recent months, today is an especially critical day to recognize the unjust incidents of hate and bullying that have caused trauma, pain and damage to the AAPI community as well as to come together to ensure change.
Hate and discrimination against Asian-Americans are not new. They build upon a deeply-rooted history of structural racism and discrimination in the United States. NOW stands beside the AAPI community in acknowledging their struggles as well as making sure we take a stand to ensure policy and cultural change in order to eliminate bullying and hate. Cultural shifts must happen through listening, raising awareness, and having conversations.
In recent months, we shared a heavy heart with the rise in reports of attacks on elderly Asian Americans and the horrific shooting in Atlanta-area. A recent analysis released by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism examined hate crimes in 16 of America’s largest cities and revealed that crimes targeting Asian people rose by nearly 150% in 2020.
Bullying can cause lasting trauma. Asian-American students reported 343 incidents of hate and bullying between March 2020 and February 2021. In the summer of 2020, during the initial peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, 77% of Asian-American youth expressed anger over the anti–Asian hate in this nation. It is unacceptable that young Asian-Americans live in fear due to the climate of hatred that surrounds them in schools and in their communities.
We are encouraged by the bipartisan effort to pass the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act but policy change is urgent and must come from all Americans rallying behind other crucial bills such as Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act and the End Racial Profiling Act. The NO HATE Act would streamline reporting systems nationally, train law enforcement on investigating hate crimes, create a hate crimes hotline, create programs to rehabilitate perpetrators, and expand resources for victims of hate crimes. The End Racial Profiling Act would create a ban on racial profiling and mandate training on racial profiling in all Federal law enforcement training. We must mobilize our efforts to contact our Representatives and demand that they support these pieces of legislation that address the growing issue of bullying and hate.
NOW firmly believes in the value of active listening and learning, which is why it will take all of us to create and promote spaces of respect, inclusion, racial empathy, and justice. We can and must end bullying and hate against the AAPI community once and for all.