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Posted by AARP AAPI Community on Thursday, June 25, 2020
“This is not new. Discrimination against people of color has a long history in America.
“But it is still shocking to hear of a child who was physically attacked, verbally assaulted, and accused of having COVID-19 because he is Asian American. It was one of the first reports our advocacy group learned of — and what spurred us to document the alarming number of racial attacks since the coronavirus pandemic reached our shores.
“We have received more than 1,800 reports of verbal harassment, refusal of service, and physical assaults related to being an AAPI. We believe it is just a fraction of what is happening across the country.
“These cases are not isolated. We are using data to demonstrate that this is a widespread phenomenon. It’s something to be taken seriously. And on a personal level, we are allowing individuals to share their stories. To me, it is more disheartening to experience the hate and feel that you have to keep it to yourself, hold it inside, and think that no one else knows what you’re going through. This is an important and valid issue, and you are not alone.
“I hope that by getting these stories out, people can understand how racism has been weaponized against communities of color time and again. We need to demand what is ours as Americans: which is going to the grocery store without being harassed, taking a walk in our neighborhoods without being assaulted, accessing the medical care we need, getting to vote freely. These are under threat right now.
“Sometimes, it takes these types of incidents to motivate our community to be civically engaged and stand for change. Let’s keep sharing our stories and continue speaking up against hate.”