A Stand Against Anti-Asian Hate rally took place Thursday afternoon bringing awareness to the increase in hate-crimes against the Asian community following the start of the pandemic.
Pamela Dunsmore, APIA president and Fullerton faculty, organized the rally to show support and increase awareness toward the Asian community. She was motivated to put on the demonstration after reading news stories of different hate-crimes towards the AAPI community.
“I heard about this Thai man in San Francisco who was just pushed to the ground for no reason,” Dunsmore said. “I can’t believe that a member of the AAPI community would just be attacked for no reason in this way, and then Atlanta happened.”
According to a report filed by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State, San Bernardino, hate-crimes against Asian Americans surged over 145% in 2020. The same report listed that hate- crimes against Asian Americans in Los Angeles increased to 114% last year following the start of the global pandemic.
“For an entire year, we’ve been seeing a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes and incidents, and the racism and the bigotry need to stop,” professor Jodi Balma said.
A gathering of 20 – 25 rally attendees stood on the corner of Lemon Street and Chapman Avenue’s, where they held signs as passersby honked their car horns in support. Notable people in attendance were President Greg Schulz, vice president of Student Services, Gilbert Contreras, Jr., and professor Jodi Balma.
The hour-and-a-half-long event was peaceful, and everyone wore their masks to remain COVID-19 safe.
President Schulz met with city councilpersons and women in an open Zoom meeting Thursday to discuss how Fullerton can fight anti-Asian hate and racism in the community. A statewide webinar, “Silence is Violence”, will be hosted March 27 by the Coalition to address racism and hate-crime against the Asian community.
“All are invited and encouraged to be a part of the conversation,” Schulz said.
There are also national organizations that can provide further information and resources in regards to anti-Asian racism.
The Stop AAPI Hate organization is where hate-crimes against members of the AAPI community are reported, categorized by the type of aggression, where the incident took place and the victim’s demographics. Between March 19, 2020, and Feb 8, 2021, nearly 3,800 reports were made. Stop AAPI Hate notes that the data they provide is not a full representation of all the country’s reports.
Hollaback! is another resource that offers bystander intervention training and other workshops through their website. They are a global activist group to end all harassment and violence in the community.
Dunsmore commented, “We’ve experienced racism; we’ve experienced acts of violence in the past. During times of national crisis, that’s when Asian Pacific Islanders bear the brunt of hate. During those times is when we experience this rise.”