Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) Experience Racism and Violence
What you can do to counter AAPI hate and help create a community of shared belonging.
Many Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) have been experiencing an increase in prejudice and violence since the start of the COVID pandemic. America is their home, but they are still often treated as if they are Perpetual Foreigners. They frequently get asked the question “Where are you really from?” based on their appearance. This question implies that it doesn’t matter if you grew up here, created a home here, or have roots here that trace back centuries – you don’t really belong in America – you are different or “other.”
In this particularly challenging time for Asian American and Pacific Islanders, the artist and activist MILCK wrote and recorded the song “I belong” as a declaration of inherent belonging which addresses the issue of feeling ‘other’ with a compelling, positive mantra. She inspires us to use this time to be the catalyst for change and she profoundly reminds us that not only do we all belong here, we belong to each other.
P&G is committed to supporting equality and inclusion for all, and is enabling on-the-ground organizations to meet the increased demand for community services like de-escalation and bystander intervention training, fair and accurate representation of AAPI people in the media and advertising, and anti-racism training as well as direct donation of P&G products to AAPI communities and businesses impacted by the pandemic. Organizations like National Asian Pacific Women’s Forum, Ascend and the Asian American Journalists Association are working tirelessly to bring change within the community and across the U.S. to help create a more equal world.
Many Americans were not aware how much Asian Americans experience racism on a regular basis, in part because they have often been called the “model minority,” which is a stereotype based on the academic and financial success and perpetuates the idea that Asian Americans should avoid conflict by staying quiet. However, this term is not a fair descriptor because it does not reflect the full diversity of AAPI who in reality have a broad range of backgrounds and economic statuses and life experiences. This term also unfairly compares people of different backgrounds and dismisses individual’s unique experiences. In addition, persistent stereotypes linger in media and culture, creating inaccurate biases which can be a barrier to treating each person as an individual worthy of respect and caring.
We can deepen our understanding of the challenges facing AAPI by learning more about the history of Asians and Pacific Islanders in America, and then take action to create a more equal world. Discrimination against Asians in the U.S. isn’t new. Racial inequality is the inescapable reality of America. It didn’t begin with us, but it can end with us if we choose to act.
This ever-growing collection of resources will help us more clearly see the complex problems we face—and face them together. Through greater knowledge and a shared understanding of our country’s full history, we can progress along the journey of to an inclusive, equal society with respect for all. Together we can make real lasting change when we actively work to prevent, address, and rectify it—individually and collectively.