100+ Asian and LGBTQ Organizations’ Statement in Opposition to Law Enforcement-Based Hate Crime Legislation

FILE - In this March 13, 2021, file photo, Chinese-Japanese American student Kara Chu, 18, holds a pair of heart balloons decorated by herself for the rally "Love Our Communities: Build Collective Power" to raise awareness of anti-Asian violence outside the Japanese American National Museum in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)

By Guest Contributor: 100+ Asian American and LGBTQ Organizations

We, the undersigned Asian and LGBTQ organizations, reject hate crime legislation that relies on anti-Black, law enforcement responses to the recent rise in anti-Asian bias incidents across the US.

In the same week the verdict in George Floyd’s murder was announced, footage of the killing of Adam Toledo was released, one week after Daunte Wright was killed by the police, and countless others experienced violence at the hands of law enforcement, Asian communities celebrated the passage of S.937, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act in the US Senate.

While we wish we could celebrate the historic visibility of anti-Asian violence and racism, which is as old as the colonization of the Americas, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act contradicts Asian solidarity with Black, Brown, undocumented, trans, low-income, sex worker, and other marginalized communities whose liberation is bound together. Furthermore, the bolstering of law enforcement and criminalization does not keep us safe and in fact harms and furthers violence against Asian communities facing some of the greatest disparities and attacks – sex workers, low wage workers, people with disabilities, people living with HIV, youth, women, trans and non binary people, migrants amongst others. It also ignores that police violence is also anti-Asian violence, which has disproportionately targeted Black and Brown Asians. We uplift the names of Christian Hall and Angelo Quinto, Asian Americans who were recently killed by police during mental health crises.

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Harvard’s Bad Counsel

Harvard University

By Guest Contributor: erin Khuê Ninh, Associate Professor of Asian American Studies, UCSB 

Harvard dispensed some royally bad counsel recently. The university’s Counseling and Mental Health Services posted a tip sheet (archived here on Wayback Machine) for Asian American students that was meant to advise on how to “cope” with anti-Asian racism, xenophobia, and the recent targeted Atlanta murders. It read to many, however, as a hate crime itself. I disagree with that assessment, though. I think it is something differently bad, and importantly different: an inside job. 

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unmasked

Several types of face masks, arranged in a row.

By Guest Contributor:  tsonami

i’m not your scapegoat
never seen nor heard nor given a say
to be spit on and shot when you’re having a bad day
not considered a person of color
and only ever expected to answer

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I Am An Asian American Woman

A woman looks out the window, with her back against a bed.

By Guest Contributor: San-Pei Lee

I am a woman born by a woman and so many women before. I come from a legacy of womanhood, of creation from love, the reason for both women and men on Earth.

But I can’t walk in broad daylight in the streets of Los Angeles without a man peering at me with predatory eyes and remarking that he “likes him some sweet Asian”. I can’t even walk in my own birth country without a man of my own race harassing me on the subway. Was it just an accident in the crowd? But that definitely felt like groping, lingering longer than an accidental touch. No, I can’t stay out alone late at night without the fear of adding to a statistic.

Will women ever stop being blamed for and forced to experience harassment, rape, and prostitution?

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Stop Asian Hate

Banner with the caption "This is Our Home Too." Artwork by Amanda Phingbodhipakkiya.

By Guest Contributor: Jimin Shim

You love our food, our movies, our anime and TV shows, our music, our engineering, our nail salons. Korea, Japan and China are some of the most popular travel destinations in the world. When will you love us? When will you see us as real human beings with full lives, families, passions, emotions, and all the things that make us human? A police captain described March 16 as “a very bad day” for this domestic terrorist. Are you kidding me? Do we really mean so little to you that having “a bad day” can justify murdering us? Do not let another domestic terrorist off the hook. Do not let his whiteness and the victims’ non-whiteness blind you from seeing the reality of this disgusting, racially-motivated hate crime.

Reach out to your Asian friends, family members, and colleagues. And then be understanding if they don’t respond right away, or at all. It can quickly become overwhelming to repeatedly tell others how you’re doing, especially when you yourself aren’t quite sure the full spectrum of emotions you’re feeling and the extent to which you’re feeling them. For me, it’s been a mix of hurt, sadness, anger, frustration, confusion, fear, worry, shock, and a heavy chest.

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