Here at The Dad, we usually prefer to share good news or positive stories. particularly anchored in fatherhood, parenting, and families. But we also believe that dads should be present and accountable within our communities, especially in times of crisis. The shooting spree in Atlanta last week came after a year of increased vitriol and violence against the AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) community. Hate crimes like these are unacceptable and heartbreaking, and we stand with our brothers and sisters against this outrageous and horrifying behavior.
Whenever there is a crisis or reckoning, there are avenues for positive change. Communities band together, everyday heroes rise up to make a difference. And if the arc of the moral universe does indeed bend towards justice, then all who contribute to justice are part of a mosaic that one day reveals a better world. Here are ways our communities are rallying to help in this current crisis, and some things you can do to help the AAPI community.
Data Scientists Organize For Justice – For a lot of white people, the Atlanta attack was a wake-up call to rising anti-Asian violence, while Asian Americans have been desperately warning everyone of the rising trend for months now. Since March, Stop AAIP Hate has tracked hate crimes against members of the Asian community and uses that info to direct resources to build local anti-racism policy. They publish their data regularly, which helps keep people informed, and everything from donations to calling and reporting incidents can help.
Volunteers Escort Oakland Residents Safely – Many of us have shaken our heads and logged off due to online bullshit. Jacob Azevedo turned that frustration into something good. After seeing a particularly racist social media post, he commented offering to chaperone anyone within Oakland’s Chinatown neighborhood to help them feel safer. This courage was met with hundreds of messages of support and offers to join him. It was this act of compassion and courage that led to the creation of Compassion in Oakland. The group organizes escorts for elderly Asians, helping people feel safe and creating a deeper sense of community. The volunteer sign-ups have been overwhelming, but there are also positions for content creators and administrators to help Compassion grow.
On the other side of the country, Main Street Patrol offers similar services in Flushing, New York.
$650K Raised For Badass Grandma – In America we’re no strangers to crowd-sourcing emergency help, but the story of Xiao Zhen Xie feels a little more triumphant. When the 76-year-old woman was punched out of nowhere by some random jerk, she managed to fend him off with a stick, putting her assailant in the hospital. Satisfying as that may be, Xie is still suffering PTSD from the event and needed no short supply of medical attention herself. Her grandson started a GoFundMe to help with expenses, which has blasted past the initial $50k goal.
These community actions are necessary and affirming, but there are a number of smaller ways you can get involved and show support to the Asian-American community. These include
- DONATE. There are many ways you can support; for economic recovery, the Asian Pacific Fund is geared towards helping businesses affected by the pandemic rebuild. You can also consider more personal aid on a community-scale, such as the Asian Mental Health Collective or policy advocates like They Can’t Burn Us All and the aforementioned Stop AAIP Hate.
- Attend Bystander Intervention Training – The Hollaback Movement offers a free, online, 1-hour training that empowers people to be aware and resilient in situations that could escalate towards a hate crime, and safely intervene before violence occurs.
- Diversify Your Feed – It may seem like a small change, but seeking out and adding different perspectives to the content you consume not only supports Asian creators, it can greatly increase your own mindfulness. Consider following Youngna Park, the Executive Product Director of Parenting for The New York Times, or subscribe to Asian America: The Ken Fong Podcast.
- Support your AAPI friends. Ask what you can do to help, but recognize that for many, there’s not a simple answer. This is a trying and exhausting time. The Atlanta shooting spree was traumatic for people who have spent the last year facing rising discrimination and has been a tipping point in unpacking how it’s felt to be in a marginalized community for so long. One of our favorite dads articulates the feelings of this moment well:
@yourkoreandadSometimes it’s not just about your help. ##YourKoreanDad ##StopAsianHate♬ original sound – Nick Cho