For over a year, the Asian community has been advocating to raise awareness about the influx of racism and hate crimes that have taken place since the start of the pandemic. While articles have been written, and news reports have been given, it is an issue that for the most part went largely unaddressed.
But the March 16th shooting in Atlanta, which took the lives of eight people, including six Asian women, is an unsettling reality.
As videos on social media circulate, and as more racist incidents are reported, the weight that the Asian community has to hold grows heavier.
In support of and in solidarity with the Asian community, 5X Press has composed a list of resources and further readings: \
Asian hate has been on the rise in the U.S. AND Canada
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a spike in reported incidents of hate crimes towards Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities.
It’s been said that Donald Trump’s hateful words towards the Asian community regarding COVID-19 only fueled the existence of anti-Asian racism, but this type of hate and vitriol was not exclusive to the U.S.
Here are some resources to consult for reporting attacks and further reading of the presence of anti-Asian racism in Canada.
Fight COVID racism is a website that offers a space to report instances of hate towards the Asian community. The webpage also tracks the number of reported incidents, which is currently showing 978 reports. However, it’s likely that many incidents of hate are not being reported at all, and actual numbers could be much higher.
Elimin8hate was started as a partnership between Project 1907 a grassroots organization to lift Asian voices, and the Vancouver Asian Film Festival. It was created as a resource for Asian-Canadians to report anti-Asian attacks as well as a resource for those who hope to educate themselves further regarding anti-Asian racism.
Support and further learning about Asian and Migrant sex work
Talking about the Atlanta shooting cannot only include discussions about racism, but needs to also consider misogyny, and sex work. In their statement given regarding the deadly shooting, Red Canary Song, a grassroots Chinese massage parlour coalition and supporter of sex work based out of New York said the following:
“Media coverage that examines the racist or sexist motivations of the killings as independent of each other fail to grasp the deeply connected histories of racialized violence and paternalistic rescue complexes that inform the violence experienced by Asian massage workers. We see the effort to invisibilize these women's gender, labor, class, and immigration status as a refusal to reckon with the legacy of United States imperialism, and as a desire to collapse the identities of migrant Asian women, sex workers, massage workers, and trafficking survivors. The women who were killed faced specific racialized gendered violence for being Asian women and massage workers. Whether or not they were actually sex workers or self-identified under that label, we know that as massage workers, they were subjected to sexualized violence stemming from the hatred of sex workers, Asian women, working class people, and immigrants.”
Writer Jane Shi tweeted out links to support sex workers upon the news of March 16th. To support sex and migrant workers and to learn more check out the following Canadian organizations:
SWAN Vancouver: https://www.swanvancouver.ca
And here are some additional readings for relevant statistics and information, that include what you need to know to stay informed and address this rampant issue.
5X Festival and 5X Press stands in solidarity with the AAPI community. If you see an act of violence being enacted, be an active bystander, intervening or getting help however it is safe to do so. #StopAsianHate.
About the author: Monika Sidhu is a freelance multimedia journalist based out of Brampton,ON. She loves covering all things arts and culture and enjoys telling untold stories coming out of her community. Monika recently graduated from Western University receiving a Master’s of Media in Journalism and Communication. In her off-time, you can find her discovering new music, spending time with her dogs or hiding the fact that she is binging reality tv shows.