A Chicago nonprofit, the Chinese American Service League, has started to track anti-Asian hate and other violent crimes targeting Asians throughout the Midwest.
Last fall, the nonprofit launched the Anti-Hate Action Center in a partnership with The Asian American Foundation. The new center will help track and prevent further hate incidents.
“Here in the Midwest we have a serious lack of data around anti-Asian hate anti-Asian violence compared to the rest of the country. So, it really is upon our community advocates to really address that head on,” said CASL’s Anti-Hate Action Center Manager Abbey Eusebio to NBC Chicago. “In order to have the data we’re able to really have a better, accurate picture of actually the scope of the issue.”
CASL received special funding to do this anti-Asian hate research from TAAF. CASL has been working for over 40 years educating and serving the Chinese American community in Chicago.
“There is many individuals in the AAPI community that may be reluctant to report hate crimes or hate incidents especially our seniors and that just come down to many things like language barriers, distrust in government,” said community engagement specialist Kevin Amaro to NBC Chicago.
Data published by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, revealed that anti-Asian hate crime increased by 339 percent in 2021. Many cities like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles had a record number of anti-Asian crime.
“I think what’s more troubling about that, despite that 339% increase — 30% of Americans didn’t know there was an increase or even falsely believe that attacks have gone down,” said Director of the Community Equity Research Center Dr. Elizabeth Stigler to NBC Chicago.
With the increase of hate incidents against the AAPI community, other organizations like Stop AAPI Hate have cropped up as well.
“We won’t be able to do this alone,” Amaro said to NBC Chicago. “The only way towards racial justice is if we move towards it together.”