On January 28th, 84 year old Thailand immigrant, Vichar Ratanapakdee, was assaulted and murdered during a walk in his neighborhood in San Francisco, California.
On February 26th, Higashi Honganji Buddhist Temple in Little Tokyo in Los Angeles, California was burned and vandalized.
On March 16th, eight people were killed in a mass shooting in Asian owned spas in northeast Atlanta, six of them being Asian women.
Over the past year, Asian discrimination has significantly skyrocketed due to the news of the pandemic. There has been a large increase of assault, robbery and vandalism within Asian communities. The listed events above are only three tragedies out of many reported and unreported. According to Stop AAPI Hate, between March 19, 2020 and December 31, 2020, Stop AAPI Hate received 126 accounts of anti-Asian hate involving Asian Americans over 60 years old (7.3% of total incidents). As an Asian American, my heart is absolutely devastated and disturbed at the recent surge of Asian hate crime. My heart goes out to those who are scared, grieving and mourning. We need to address these systematic issues that perpetuate these crimes and encourage our community to come together, not fight each other.
During this time of crisis, I urge you to discuss these injustices and stay informed with the news. Secondly, extend your heart out to those who need it and speak up for those who can’t. Make sure to check in with your Asian friends and neighbors. On behalf of RARA CLUB, we commit to uplifting the voices of AAPI and condemn anti-Asian hate, discrimination, and violence. Please join us by supporting the AAPI community by researching, being an active ally, and report any incidents of violence or hate. Follow #StopAsianHate and #StopAAPIHate to help amplify activists and community organizations.
“Being anti racist includes acknowledging the Asian American experience.” - Kim Saira