Please see below a joint statement from DC-Area APABAs on Post-COVID-19 Racism and Xenophobia, and a form to submit and concerns or questions to KABA-DC.
DC-Area APABAs & Partners Condemn Post-COVID-19 Racism and Xenophobia
In the two weeks leading up to March 27, 2020, over 650 hateful acts of discrimination, including serious violent acts, directed towards Asian Americans were reported, with new incidents coming in daily. And those are just reported cases. These hateful acts have been committed against Asian Americans of all ages, with victims as young as 2 years old. Incidents in the DC metro region are undoubtedly being under-reported as well. APABA-DC, APABA-Maryland, APABA-Virginia, and the other undersigned organizations denounce these hateful acts in the strongest terms, and urge others to join us in calling out this racism, educating the public, holding perpetrators accountable, and working together during these times of immense hardship in America.
Educating the public: Irresponsible rhetoric such as referring to the coronavirus as the “Chinese Virus,” “Wuhan Virus,” or otherwise “foreign” virus has fanned and been tied to the rise of hateful acts towards Asian Americans.. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have specifically stated that using such terms creates harmful stigma against ethnic and minority groups, and further endangers public health. It is imperative that any continued use of this irresponsible rhetoric cease, and that all of our neighbors become aware of—and stand up to—these hateful acts when they occur in our community.
Holding Perpetrators Accountable: We thank those who have shown solidarity with the Asian American community in calling out racism, and applaud the law enforcement agencies that have pledged to hold accountable those who commit unlawful, anti-discriminatory acts against Asian Americans. While we continue to urge federal, state, and local law enforcement authorities to investigate and prosecute such unlawful acts, we also urge them to engage closely with members of the Asian American community and their neighbors to encourage the reporting of these incidents. Recently, the New York State Attorney General's office created a hotline to report anti-Asian incidents, which we believe will facilitate victims and witnesses to come forward and report anti-Asian incidents. In the District, we encourage individuals to report incidents to the DC Hate Crimes Hotline at 202-727-0500 or the DC Victim Hotline, 1-844-4HELPDC. In Maryland, individuals can report incidents to a special hotline dedicated to hate crimes, 1-866-481-8361. In Virginia, individuals can report a hate crime and/or be connected with victims’ resources for support following a crime at 1-855-NOH8VA1.
Working Together: The public health crisis today presents unprecedented challenges for so many communities in these extraordinarily difficult times. We believe it is also a time for uncommon kindness and renewed solidarity as a nation. We urge everyone—as grandparents, parents, sons, daughters— across professions and vocations to work together on a daily basis while “physical distancing” to promote the well-being of our fellow neighbors. Each of our organizations has helped to collect and curate helpful resources to that end, to help maintain social ties and bring together our communities: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfelCO1_yqhWu8bEDRAloYof9YuMjO356QgqoNrsfgmD8EKlg/viewform. These resources are in addition to the countless informal networks that have formed over the past few weeks to aid us all in weathering the pandemic.
We wish everyone good health and safety and urge the public to report hateful acts to the appropriate authorities.
As you may know, the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), has raised economic and health concerns at the global level, with increasing reports of spread and deaths in the United States. Unfortunately, fear and misinformation have resulted in Asian-Americans being targets of xenophobic and discriminatory comments and actions.