On behalf of the PLTC DE&I Committee, we would like to share below the February, 2021 statement from the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA) and Stop AAPI Hate condemning recent violence against Asian elders. Additional resources are provided.
Statement Condemning Violence Against Asian and Asian Americans February 10, 2021
The Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA) and Stop AAPI Hate unequivocally condemn the increasing hate and violence directed toward Asians and Asian Americans nationwide and most recently in northern California, which resulted in the death of one Asian American elder. We mourn the loss of and seek justice for Vicha Ratanapakdee, one of several victims in a string of attacks targeting Asian and Asian American seniors. As an organization and community of immigrants, refugees, and People of Color, we are especially distressed by these events because of the continued violence targeting Asian Americans, as discussed in our April 2020 COVID-19 Racism-related Statement. These are not isolated incidents, and the atrocities committed against Asians and Asian Americans intensify the challenges that our community is already facing. The attacks on our elders are especially horrific because it reflects an intentional targeting of the most revered and also most vulnerable members of our community. The violence is happening at a time when Asian Americans are already disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, from economic instability and unemployment to being on the front lines as essential healthcare workers.
Preliminary findings from AAPA’s ongoing collaborative research with the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center show that as of January 2021, a total of 2,808 reports were received documenting a range of discrimination and violence inflicted on the AAPI community. Thus far, 7.3% of the incidents reported to the portal are from individuals 60 years of age and older. This is likely an underreported percentage, but one that reveals our elders being targets of race-based discrimination. Findings also indicated that overall, respondents experienced hate incidents as traumatic, now perceive their country as much more dangerous, view anti-Asian discrimination as a primary source of stress, and are in need of more mental health support than there is available. More findings will be forthcoming.
We stand with the 40+ Asian American and Asian immigrant organizations in the Bay Area that convened yesterday morning to condemn the anti-Asian violence against the AAPI community. We will work in tandem to develop cross-cultural coalitions and healing, promote trauma-informed and culturally-sensitive services, and build safety within and across our communities. We encourage Asian Americans to attend to their individual and collective mental health during this time of fear, uncertainty, anger, and grief. We urge our community and allies to strive for unity instead of division, and to offer solidarity in the fight against racism. This includes intervening when possible, validating the pain of those who are distressed, and reporting anti-Asian hate crimes, including the ones they directly experience and those that they witness (see links below). We remind members of our community to seek justice and support for victims without perpetrating anti-Blackness and overpolicing as a means to restore a sense of safety. We will not demonize or scapegoat any communities of color. We will continue to advocate for additional education, support, and resources to invest in the community-building and safety of all of our people.
Links & Resources
Stop AAPI Hate Reporting: https://stopaapihate.org
AAPA COVID-19 Racism-related Statement: https://aapaonline.org/wpcontent/uploads/2020/04/AAPA-COVID19-statement.pdf
Asian Americans Advancing Justice Tracking Hate Stories: https://www.standagainsthatred.org/
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) Hate Crimes Task Force and Pro Bono Legal Resources: https://www.napaba.org/page/HateCrimeResources
Infographics and accompanying videos for helping AAPI families talk to children and teens exposed to anti-Asian bullying and harassment (developed for COVID-19 but also relevant now): https://division45.org/division-45-task-force-on-covid-19-anti-asian-discrimination-and-xenophobia/
Asian American Mental Health Collective directory of APISAA therapists: https://www.asianmhc.org/apisaa
AAPA Division on Practice list of COVID-related mental health resources: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1GrseILJlOFiNOzeQT3X3aizokL-M4NvXp7vCP4Wjm8/edit?ts=5e88c7b1
Free bystander intervention training to stop anti-Asian/American and xenophobic harassment: https://www.ihollaback.org/bystanderintervention/