Anti-Asian hate crimes have surged across America over the last 12 months. Donald Trump and the Republican Party stoked this violence in our culture for a full year, racializing a virus they had no interest in protecting Americans from so they could shift blame from their own failure. Some of us called it out as racist at the time, but amidst a pandemic and the Black Lives Matter uprising, many glossed over anti-Asian racism once again.
We’ve been here before. America has a shameful past of policies that scapegoat and punish Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander American communities dating back to the 1800s. This is a stain that has been minimized and overlooked, glossed over with a “model minority” trope that tells us everything is A-OK with Asian communities in America. America—particularly white America—has conveniently convinced itself that Asians are not the targets of racism. And as a result, these communities have often been left out of racial justice conversations and movements.
Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander Americans are living through a horrific and heartbreaking surge in verbal and physical violence—3,800 reported cases since the GOP set their plan in motion. And countless others are not reported at all.
It’s our collective responsibility to condemn hate against all people and to ensure justice and equality for all. Constructive is committed to doing our part by dedicating ourselves to deeper learning on America’s shameful and painful history of Anti-Asian racism and by dedicating a significant percentage of our annual donations to organizations that uplift and protect Asian communities.
Enough is enough, we must act now. Below, we’ve included some resources to help you practice anti-racist communications and support organizations fighting against anti-Asian racism.
— Matt Schwartz and the Constructive Team
Talking About Systemic Racism Effectively
Even though hate crimes are committed by individuals, Anti-Asian racism doesn’t start or end with them. Racism is systemic—it’s framed by longer histories and maintained institutionally—and needs to be talked about as such. While raising awareness about the systemic roots of discrimination is key, the enormity of the problem can easily lead to people feeling helpless. That’s exactly why it’s also important to communicate that systems can, in fact, be changed for the better.
Crafting an Anti-Racist Digital Communications Strategy
Being anti-racist is an active, intentional practice. Use this list of eight tips, put together by the Communications Network, as a checklist to ensure that your communications aren’t racist—explicitly or implicitly. From ensuring you’re being a true advocate rather than a performative one to being more attentive to the messages the photos that you share communicate, this list helps you rethink your digital communications.
Ways to Interrupt and Shut Down Microaggressions
Anti-Asian racism doesn’t only manifest in the form of headline-worthy hate crimes; it’s present all around us, everyday, as microaggressions that we ignore or even laugh off. But not anymore. This document provides an overview of common microaggressions, the underlying messages they relay, and how to shut them down.
Critically Evaluating Data Visualizations Designed to Mislead
Data visualizations are excellent storytelling tools that can help people grasp messages quickly and effectively. But this superpower can be easily misused. Learning about the telltale signs of a malicious data visualization enables you to critically evaluate the messages you’re being fed—which can often be discriminatory or hate-filled.
How to Avoid Harmful Racial Discourse Practices
This guide, compiled by the National Education Association, provides an overview of seven harmful racial discourse practices that smuggle in damaging racist narratives, while also discussing how you can steer clear of them in your communications.
Speak Up to Combat Coronavirus Racism
We must all speak up in the face of bigotry. This Learning for Justice resource recommends four communication strategies to counter and neutralize racist rhetoric: Interrupt, Question, Educate, and Echo. These strategies reflect an ethos of active intervention—one we should all be willing to adopt—online and offline, to stop hate in its tracks.
Talking About Anti-Asian Racism Responsibly
After the Atlanta shootings, the Asian American Journalists’ Association (AAJA) put out this guide to advise news outlets on how to responsibly cover anti-Asian hate crimes. The recommendations in it are applicable to all of us speaking up against the string of attacks that have occurred these past few months. From avoiding assumptions to refraining from using language that could further hypersexualize Asian women, these pointers are ones we should all take seriously.
How to Support the Asian Community with Material Resources
While there are a number of ways to support Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander American communities, it’s also important to put our money where our mouth is and make sure that organizations advocating for these communities are well-resourced in these times. New York Magazine put together a comprehensive list of 68 organizations and funds, along with brief descriptions of what they do, to help you pick the initiatives you’d like to support.