Proactive AAPI hate plan in New York City needs more funding to work


Asian Americans are the fastest growing population in New York City, and at 1.3 million people, they make up 16% of the city’s overall population.

Throughout the pandemic, many Asian Americans have risked their lives serving their communities as essential workers. However, as the country slowly begins to recover from a traumatic year, Asian Americans across the country, especially New Yorkers, are being subjected to heinous and violent racial attacks.

This alarming and continuing increase in anti-Asian hate crimes can be attributed to anti-Chinese sentiment that has found a home deep in American soil for centuries. Asian Americans have never really been seen or accepted as genuine Americans and have faced racism and discrimination since the 1875 Pages Act.

These anti-Asian sentiments have been exacerbated by the racist rhetoric perpetuated by politicians.

The first documented case of COVID-19 came from Wuhan, China, and former President Donald Trump and other politicians decided to use terms like “Kung Flu” and “China Virus” to describe the deadly disease .

This kind of language has made all Asian Americans the scapegoats for the very pandemic in which they have played a huge role in the fight. Americans of various origins – Chinese, Vietnamese, Thai, Filipino, Korean and more – have suffered brutal attacks and harassment for over a year now.

New York in particular has struggled against the crushing onslaught of hate crimes. In May, stop the hate AAPI reported more over 6,000 anti-Asian incidents nationwide from March 2020 to March 2021, with New York City ranking as the state with the second highest number of reported hate incidents.

Thursday April 1, Asian American Federation (AAF), one of the most powerful advocacy groups for better services, policies and funding for Asian New Yorkers, launched the #Hope AgainstHate countryside.

Hope versus hate the campaign will establish Safety Ambassador programs in New York’s Asian enclaves, have established multilingual victim support services as well as an assault-related expense fund, mental health support and training multilingual security for successful self-defense and bystander intervention techniques.

The Hope Against Hate campaign will partner with small businesses and places of worship across town to set up “safe zones” marked with identifiable posters allowing Asian Americans to seek refuge during or after an attack.

The campaign will work with schools, relevant stakeholders and the elderly to deliver tailored verbal de-escalation and physical self-defense training in English, Chinese, Japanese, Vietnamese, Korean and Tagalog.

In April, Ravi Reddi, associate director of advocacy and policy for the AAF, hosted a virtual press conference alongside prominent New York politicians, including Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Congresswoman by Brooklyn Yvette Clarke.

“It’s not just an Asian American problem. It’s a problem for all of us, ”Reddi said.

The AAF campaign still needs funding from the New York City Council to implement all of its plans.

In an editorial published On Tuesday June 29, Queens 20th District Council Member Peter Koo and AAF Executive Director Jo-Ann Yoo highlighted the urgent need for the council to support the campaign and build safer communities for Asian New Yorkers.

To really paint a picture of the seriousness of the problem, Koo and Yoo started the article by telling the stories of two recent hate incidents At New York.

On Monday, June 21, a 57-year-old Asian woman and her grandchildren were verbally harassed by a man in Tribeca, who shouted “Fuck Chinese!” on them.

That same day, a 23-year-old woman heard the same horrible words and the assailant kicked her in the leg before attempting to pull out a knife.

“With each new assault every day and every week, it is painfully obvious that New York City’s existing solutions are not doing enough to deal with the crisis that is putting its 1.3 million Asian Americans in danger every time they leave their homes, “the authors wrote. .

Koo and Yoo went on to explain that New York’s response to the increase in hate crimes had been too reactive and not preventive. This type of approach is not a long-term solution, and AAF’s campaign is the key to a safer city.

“For a new solution to work, it must not only tackle the aggression once it has already occurred; he must actively seek to prevent this from happening again, ”they wrote.

To put more emphasis on their point, the authors described possible scenarios in which Asian New Yorkers of all ages might feel and be safer, breathe a little easier, defend themselves with confidence, and have access to services and multilingual support.

“It doesn’t have to be a hopeless fantasy; we have the power to make it a hopeful reality, ”wrote Koo and Yoo.

But without the help of city leaders to secure the $ 10 million in funding for the new initiative, the city will remain stuck in this nightmarish reality, where Asian New Yorkers are afraid to go to work, to the park and to the park. the grocery store.

“We need to look to creating a new solution, one that can be implemented quickly, efficiently and, most importantly, effectively. Lucky for us, the Asian American Federation has that solution, ”they wrote.

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