Anti-Asian acts of hate have grown dramatically since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The elderly, Asian women, Asian small businesses owners, and Asians and Pacific Islanders from all walks of life have been targeted and subject to increasing violence and harassment. We denounce these violent acts against our community, especially against those who are most vulnerable and deserve our care and respect.
Anti-Asian hate crimes increased 145% in 2020 according to an analysis of police data by the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at CSUSB. The Stop AAPI Hate National Report has received a staggering 3,795 reports of anti-Asian hate incidents from March 19, 2020 to February 28, 2021. Behind these statistics, there are thousands of individual stories, including those of Daoyou Feng, Delaina Ashley Yaun, Hyun Jung Grant, Paul Andre Michels, Soon Chung Park, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, and Xiaojie Tan, who lost their lives in the heartbreaking shootings in Atlanta.
As increased notice is paid to anti-Asian xenophobia and racism, we are hearing more broadly how bias against Asians has been overlooked. Whether overt or implicit, the model minority myth has perpetuated injustices and discrimination. It encourages those who are discriminated against to ignore racism in order to assimilate, and it can lead to harmful thinking that Asian individuals don’t need the same amount of support when they feel othered.
I ask that the members of the Lever community open themselves up to this conversation. Remember that it is okay if this doesn’t feel comfortable — personal growth doesn’t come easy, and it is rarely pleasant while it’s happening. If we are to seek justice, it is important that we bring visibility to the Asian and Pacific Islander (API) communities, their histories, and their experiences.
In times such as these, creating an inclusive workplace requires recognizing that these events impact our colleagues, families, friends, and partners. If you are interested in allyship, you can help by further learning, raising awareness, and standing up against anti-Asian racism.