According to CNN, the initiative on social media was started by Jacob Azevedo, 26, who felt exhausted from the violence he experienced daily in his community. “I didn’t intend to be some kind of vigilante,” Azevedo told CNN. “I just wanted to give people some kind of comfort.”
Azevedo, who is of Latin American descent, noted that this was an opportunity for all minority groups to unite in solidarity with the Asian American community. He recognized the increase in crimes against Asian Americans and the language of the politicians who contributed to it. “It’s important because this church just needs healing,” said Azevedo. “There is a lot of racial tension due to the previous president’s rhetoric, but in general our communities need healing.” This is a problem that has been going on for a while. “
His idea of creating security measures for vulnerable community members resonated with hundreds of people and prompted nearly 300 volunteers to sign up to protect the Asian-American community, CNN reported.
Activists noted that crimes against the Asian-American community are not new or isolated to COVID-19, but have been underreported and often not received much attention. “This is an issue that doesn’t get much attention, especially in low-income communities,” Cynthia Choi, co-founder of Stop APPI Hate, told CNN. “And of course, I think the pandemic has tightened the conditions.” and revealed racial differences. “
While the US has historically targeted Asian Americans during public health crises, the recent wave of crime can be traced back to the racist reporting and language used by Donald Trump and his supporters. As President, Trump not only failed to overcome the crisis, he used it consistently Language like “Kung Flu” and “Chinese Virus” refer to COVID-19. Several reports examining the link between political rhetoric and anti-Asian bias found that discrimination against the Asian-American community increased after the use of such terms. Daily Kos reported.
Choi welcomed the support and community initiatives against these injustices and noted the impact of such initiatives. “In Oakland they are planning this action and it’s less about control than about supporting the community and showing up,” said Choi. “It shows our elders, who are afraid, afraid of leaving their house, that we are here, we want to support you, we are holding you right now.”
The Asian-American community needs our support more than ever. There are several ways we can show our support during this time, from checking in with your family and friends in the AAPI community to asking members of Congress to hold our representatives accountable for the actions they take to protect the world Community and take action to ensure safety. Raising awareness is the first step and we must all do our part to ensure that these violent attacks do not get under the radar.
If you are in the Oakland area and interested in volunteering with Compassion in Oakland or needing a chaperone, please find more information Here.