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Stop AAPI Hate co-founder: Anti-Asian hate is going to get worse

By Randall Yip, AsAmNews Executive Editor

New York City- San Francisco State Professor Russell Jeung made a grim prediction Saturday at a summit organized by The Asian American Foundation in New York.

“U.S.-China antagonism is going to be worse than Covid-19 racism. These are not safe times,” the co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate and an Asian American Studies professor declared.

Within hours of his remarks, a suspected neo-Nazi would shoot up an outlet mall in Allen outside of Dallas, killing at least 8 people, including four Asian Americans.

RELATED: 4 Asian Americans among 8 killed in Texas mall shooting

Jeung made his comments during a panel on TAAF’s new study that found that 1 out of 2 Asian Americans feel unsafe and a third of non-Asians surveyed believe Asian Americans are more loyal to their perceived country of origin than the United States.

RELATED: Annual survey highlights AAPI concerns about belonging and safety

Some 600 invited Asian American activists and concerned community members convened at the summit Friday and Saturday to explore the state of Asian America and possible solutions to the issues the community faces. AsAmNews was among the invited guests.

TAAF announced $35 million in funding to go towards programs in New York City for safety and economic empowerment in New York City.

The Foundation made the announcement in partnership with the Robin Hood Foundation, Surdna Foundation, New York Women’s Foundation, Bank of America, and the NYC Mayor’s office.

It also announced additional support to create the NYC Anti-Hate Collaborative Network with 14 other AAPI organizations.

TAAF also made public its four pillars- anti-Hate, education, narrative change, and resources & representation. Each pillar will be backed by grants to AAPI organizations to support specific programs or long-term sustainability.

“Fight for it. It is our time to claim what is ours,” declared Li Lu, founder of Himalaya Capital and board chair of TAAF.

Several people at the Summit called on members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community to build on cross-racial solidarity.

Some of the first people to call for justice in 1982 after the killing of Vincent Chin, a Chinese American killed by two auto workers with a baseball bat in Detroit, were members of the Black community, said MIT professor Phillip Thompson.

“They had been supported by Grace Lee Boggs for 30 years before that. The coalition had already been built,” he said.

RELATED: Vincent Chin Institute launched to fight hate

Boggs was a Chinese American activist who immersed herself with Black leaders in the civil rights movement.

“Divide and conquer is an age-old strategy. But so is unity. It takes a room like this to undo it,” said Amol Sinha of ACLU-New Jersey.

“There are definitely deep issues of systematic racism in this country,” added Jonathan Greenblatt, director of the Anti-Defamation League. “I look at this diverse room and the promise of America. With all the challenges, I have never been more optimistic.”

Educators in the room called for the continued push for Asian American Studies in both the K-12 curriculum and at the college level as a remedy to Anti-Asian hate.

The Florida legislature this past month mandated the teaching of Asian American and Pacific Islander history in the k – 12 curriculum. Florida is one of at least 19 states that teach Asian American studies.

RELATED: 19 states now teaching Asian American Studies. More coming

“We cannot say we have an educated student body unless they have exposure to this curriculum  We must take advantage of this moment to argue our relevance and educate this generation,” said Pawan Dhingra, a professor of Asian American Studies at Amherst.

Grace Pai of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Chicago said her organization has focused on training educators to teach Asian American Studies, saying most teachers have little exposure to the subject. She says that so far they’ve trained some 1400 teachers.

Kate Lee is with Make Us Visible. The group launched shortly after the rise of anti-Asian Hate. The group says it successfully lobbied four states to pass laws requiring the teaching of Asian American Studies.

“I have not taught a single class that has not left a student unchanged,” said Karen Umemoto of UCLA about the power of teaching Asian American history. “It provides touchstones for us to relate to each other. We learn how to see the world from another person’s shoes. People develop an empathy for each other.”

AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. Follow us on FacebookX, InstagramTikTok and YouTube. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support our efforts to produce diverse content about the AAPI communities. We are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.


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