Fall Conference 2020: Anti-Asian Violence and Hate Arising from the COVID-19 Pandemic

On September 26, 2020, as part of the second day of the 2020 Fall Conference, AABANY hosted a program discussing Anti-Asian Violence and Hate Arising from the COVID-19 Pandemic, which focused on trends and newly compiled statistics related to this discrimination. The panel included:

  • Karen King, Counsel at Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP (Moderator)
  • Joe Gim, Deputy Chief of the County Court Trial Bureau in Nassau County
  • Russell Jeung, Professor of Asian American studies at San Francisco State University and Member of the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council
  • Stewart Loo, Deputy Inspector of the NYPD Asian Hate Crime Task Force
  • John C. Yang, President and Executive Director at Asian Americans Advancing Justice
  • Jo-Ann Yoo, Executive Director at the Asian American Federation

First, Professor Jeung introduced “Stop AAPI Hate,” an online reporting center organized by the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council. Since March 19, 2020, the reporting center has been tracking and responding to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in California and where possible throughout the United States. In California, there have been over 300,000 reported incidents over the eight month period. There was a major uptick in March when President Trump started calling COVID-19 the “Chinese virus” and in late June when Trump started using the term “Kung Flu.” Although most of the reported incidents have been verbal, there have been an alarming number of incidents where Asian Pacific Americans (APA) were coughed or spat on.

Jo-Ann Yoo then discussed the situation in New York and emphasized that reporting is only as good as its outreach. Joe Gim specified that legally, a hate crime in New York must both involve a person selected to have a crime against them because of their identity and have that factor be a substantial part of the crime.

Next, Stewart Loo introduced the NYPD Asian Hate Crime Task Force, which gets involved with incidents of hate and discrimination when they become crimes. The task force assists victims who cannot speak English but want to report an incident. Due to cultural differences and the length and complexity of reporting a crime to the NYPD, the criminal process can be very daunting. Yoo added that many people are shy or afraid to report, regardless of a language barrier, especially to the media. John Yang then discussed the importance of media pieces in humanizing the statistics and building community strength.

Professor Jeung and John Yang also discussed how APA social status has historically been very conditional. As many APA individuals still toggle between being part of a Model Minority or a Yellow Peril, they are seen as perpetual foreigners, which adds to the rising anti-Asian hate.

The panel concluded with talking about the rise in APA youth supporting Black Lives Matter. In order to be heard on a nationwide scale, everyday citizens must fight for the respect that their communities do not already receive, whether by serving as a poll worker, speaking up in organizations, or simply voting. The panel ended with discussing how APA culture is stereotypically seen as quiet, but in order to see change now, people need to speak up and speak out.

Thank you to the panelists, Joe Gim, Russell Jeung, Stewart Loo, John C. Yang, and Jo-Ann Yoo, and moderator Karen King for leading such an inspiring and important discussion on anti-Asian violence and hate during the pandemic. And thank you to the AABANY Pro Bono and Community Service, and Government Service and Public Interest Committees for hosting the event.

Click here to access the Stop AAPI Hate website.
Click here to access AAF’s COVID-19 Safety Resources.

To view a recording of this program, please click on the video image at the top of this blog post.

NAPABA Condemns Hate-Fueled Violence in Kentucky and Pennsylvania

The National Asian
Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) strongly and unequivocally
condemns the climate of hate, racism, and anti-Semitism that has fueled
violence against individuals and communities across the nation in the
past week. We are committed to fighting hate crimes by educating and
empowering our community to speak up and act against racially-motivated
rhetoric and conduct, and to hold those accountable who encourage it.

past week, a gunman attempted to enter First Baptist Church, a
predominantly African-American church, near Louisville, KY. When he
failed, he entered a local grocery store and murdered two Black people,
an incident the FBI is now investigating as a potential federal hate
crime. Just days later, on Saturday, an anti-Semitic attacker with an
assault rifle killed eleven members of the congregation at Tree of Life
Synagogue in Pittsburgh, PA.

stands in solidarity with the Jewish and Black communities nationwide,
and pledges to continue working steadily to promote our core values of
acceptance, diversity, and inclusiveness. Our thoughts are with the
families of the victims of the horrendous violence in Kentucky and
Pennsylvania. All people should be able to live their lives and worship
freely without fear.

For more information, the media may contact Nisha Ramachandran, NAPABA interim communications manager, at 202-775-9555 or [email protected].

To learn more about NAPABA, visit www.napaba.org, like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter (@NAPABA).

Chicago and National Bar Associations Support Local Victims of Alleged Hate Crime

For Immediate Release

June 22, 2017

For More Information, Contact: 

Brett Schuster, Communications
[email protected],

Press Release

CHICAGO — A coalition of
Chicago-area and national Asian Pacific American bar associations expressed
their support for Sufyan Sohel, deputy director of the Council on
American-Islamic Relations Chicago (CAIR-Chicago), and CAIR-Chicago, victims of
a series of threating
recently charged as a hate crime.

On May 16, 2017, Sohel received a
threatening voicemail on his office phone from Marvin Meyer stating, “Hey.
Guess what? This is America calling. You are not welcome here… We will kill
you.” His message insulted Allah and Democrats, and Meyer also asked, “Do I
seem afraid of you?” This was one of four calls left at CAIR-Chicago that
morning, all with a similar message.

Meyer admitted to calling Sohel and
he has been charged with a felony count of a hate crime and a misdemeanor count
of a telephone threat.

The Chicago-area bar associations
(the Asian American Bar Association of Chicago, the Chinese American Bar
Association of Chicago, the Filipino American Lawyers Association of Chicago,
the Korean American Bar Association of Chicago, the South Asian Bar Association
of Chicago) and the national bar associations (the National Asian Pacific
America Bar Association and the South Asian Bar Association North America)
condemn the threatening calls and the rising level of hate witnessed around the
globe against Muslim, South Asian and other minority communities. The bar
associations praise the Cook County State’s Attorney Office and the Chicago
Police Department for investigating the specific allegations raised by the
voicemails and taking action to ensure that all residents, regardless of
gender, race and national origin, feel welcome and safe in the City of Chicago.

Sohel, past president of the South
Asian Bar Association of Chicago, is an American-born attorney whose parents
came to this country from India. As deputy director at CAIR-Chicago, Sohel
oversees the organization’s legal strategy and is a frequent speaker on social
justice and civil rights issues. CAIR-Chicago is a non-profit organization
that defends the civil rights or Muslim Americans through outreach, advocacy
and litigation.

The bar associations urge attorneys,
other legal associations and community members to help stem the rise of hate
crimes by reporting incidents and seeking assistance immediately. Please visit
the respective bar associations’ websites for additional information. 

For more information, the media may contact Brett Schuster,
NAPABA communications manager, at 202-775-9555 or [email protected].

The National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) is the national
association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and
law students. NAPABA represents the interests of almost 50,000 attorneys and
more than 80 national, state, and local Asian Pacific American bar
associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers,
corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving
at all levels of government.

NAPABA continues to be a leader in
addressing civil rights issues confronting Asian Pacific American communities.
Through its national network of committees and affiliates, NAPABA provides a
strong voice for increased diversity of the federal and state judiciaries,
advocates for equal opportunity in the workplace, works to eliminate hate
crimes and anti-immigrant sentiment, and promotes the professional development
of people of color in the legal profession.

Statement of the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA), the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA), the National Association of Women Lawyers (NAWL), the National Bar Association (NBA), the National LGBT Bar Association (LGBT Bar), and the National Native American Bar Association (NNABA) on the Recent Increase in Hate-Motivated Violence and Harassment

For Immediate Release
Nov. 30, 2016

For More Information, Contact:
Brett Schuster, Communications Manager
[email protected], 202-775-9555

WASHINGTON — In the aftermath of this particularly divisive presidential election, there has been a surge of bias-motivated and hate violence across the nation targeting many groups, including Muslims, immigrants, women, members of the LGBTQ community, and African Americans. We call on lawyers across the country and our elected officials to denounce and take action against this hate.

The FBI recently released its annual hate crime statistics for 2015, which demonstrated a six percent increase in hate crimes and an alarming 67 percent surge in hate crimes targeting the Muslim American community in the past year. The Southern Poverty Law Center has recorded almost 900 cases of hate-based harassment and intimidation that occurred following the election including a large number targeting immigrants and taking place in schools and on college campuses.

As diverse bar associations, we have a unique opportunity to serve as voices for individuals and communities who are targeted based on race, religion, gender, gender identity, immigration status, national origin, sexual orientation, or disability. The recent increase in reported hate crimes is a salient reminder that we must work together to speak out against hate in all forms. As bar associations representing the interests of diverse lawyers around the country, we embrace the solidarity and strength of our robust communities and we are committed to our collective mission to serve as the voice of minority communities in the legal profession.

To assist our members who may be part of or work with communities affected by hate violence, we have created a Hate Crimes Resources Toolkit, which has information about reporting incidents, supporting community organizations, offering legal services, and coordinating with government agencies.

We call on our elected officials, in a letter to the leadership of the Senate and the House of Representatives, to denounce the rising tide of hate. We encourage them to take steps to combat these incidents and promote an inclusive America where all receive equal protection under the law.

As members of the legal profession, we have a special responsibility to ensure the continuity of our best legal traditions, and to defend and uphold our commitments to justice, fairness, equality, and the rule of law under our Constitution. As national diverse bar associations, we remain steadfast in our commitment to expanding equal rights, fighting discrimination and combating hate crimes to protect minority and underserved communities.

The HNBA is an incorporated, not-for-profit, national membership organization that represents the interests of the more than 50,000 Hispanic attorneys, judges, law professors, legal assistants, and law students in the United States and its territories. From the days of its founding three decades ago, the HNBA has acted as a force for positive change within the legal profession. It does so by encouraging Latino students to choose a career in the law and by prompting their advancement within the profession once they graduate and start practicing. Through a combination of issue advocacy, programmatic activities, networking events and educational conferences, the HNBA has helped generations of lawyers succeed.

NAPABA is the national association of Asian Pacific American attorneys, judges, law professors, and law students. NAPABA represents the interests of over 50,000 attorneys and over 75 national, state, and local bar associations. Its members include solo practitioners, large firm lawyers, corporate counsel, legal services and non-profit attorneys, and lawyers serving at all levels of government. NAPABA engages in legislative and policy advocacy, promotes APA political leadership and political appointments, and builds coalitions within the legal profession and the community at large. NAPABA also serves as a resource for government agencies, members of Congress, and public service organizations about APAs in the legal profession, civil rights, and diversity in the courts.

The mission of the National Association of Women Lawyers is to provide leadership, a collective voice, and essential resources to advance women in the legal profession and advocate for the equality of women under the law. Since 1899, NAWL has been empowering women in the legal profession, cultivating a diverse membership dedicated to equality, mutual support, and collective success. If you are not already a member, please considering joining. NAWL welcomes the membership of individual attorneys, including private practice, corporate, academic, government and non-profit attorneys, and groups, including law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, and bar associations. Learn more at www.nawl.org.

Founded in 1925, the NBA is the nation’s oldest and largest national network of minority attorneys and judges. It represents approximately 60,000 lawyers, judges, law professors and law students and has over 80 affiliate chapters throughout the United States and around the world. The organization seeks to advance the science of jurisprudence, preserve the independence of the judiciary and to uphold the honor and integrity of the legal profession. For additional information about the National Bar Association, visit www.nationalbar.org.

Founded in 1973, the NNABA serves as the national association for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian attorneys, judges, law professors and law students. NNABA strives for justice and effective legal representation for all American indigenous peoples; fosters the development of Native American lawyers and judges; and addresses social, cultural and legal issues affecting American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians.

The National LGBT Bar Association is a national association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals, law students, activists and affiliated lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender legal organizations. The LGBT Bar promotes justice in and through the legal profession for the LGBT community in all its diversity.