The fatal shootings of eight people in the Atlanta this week, including six Asian women, put into sharp focus calls to end anti-Asian racism and acts of violence across the country. Members of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities say it's just the latest in a devastating string of incidents that have gotten more attention since the beginning of the pandemic.
Experts have pointed to several factors behind the rise in anti-Asian racism over the last year, including a history of xenophobia toward Asian communities, as well as former President Donald Trump and other political leaders' repeated use of racist rhetoric to describe Covid-19.
Though investigations of the Atlanta shootings are ongoing, experts and activists say it's "nearly impossible" to divorce race and sexual violence from the discourse of the suspect's motives.
AAPIs have spent the last few days publicly grieving the attacks, centering issues of anti-Asian racism, and calling for the public to take action using the #StopAsianHate tag. Here's what advocates say you can do to help stop anti-Asian racism and support the Asian community right now.
Acknowledge anti-Asian racism
A good place to begin is for AAPIs and their allies to acknowledge anti-Asian racism in the first place.
Some academics have pointed to the model minority myth, which holds the economic advancement of some Asian American individuals as a measure that AAPIs as a whole don't experience racism, as a means to erase a history of AAPI discrimination in the U.S. It may be why some people haven't seen anti-Asian racism as an issue before.
"Part of the myth is that we stay quiet, we're apolitical, that issues we're experiencing are not valid or are not attached to our race," says Michelle Kim, CEO of the diversity training provider Awaken. "There's a continual investment in upholding this myth, and we need to question who benefits from it, because it's not us or other marginalized people."