In the News: Board Director Chris Kwok Interviewed by ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

AABANY’s report on anti-Asian violence was recently mentioned in a May 6, 2021 ABC News article titled “Asian Americans take a stand as the US faces a new racial reckoning.” The article highlighted the report’s finding of the eight-fold increase in the number of anti-Asian hate incidents that were reported to the NYPD in 2020 compared to the previous year. Co-Executive Editor of the report and AABANY Board Director Chris Kwok was interviewed on the underreporting of anti-Asian hate incidents and the increase of anti-Asian hate and violence during the pandemic. Chris discussed the long-standing anti-Asian sentiments in America which date back to laws in the 19th and early 20th centuries controlling the rights of Chinese workers. He stated: “The pandemic unleashed, I think, a growing fear of China going back to [Barack] Obama’s second term…Then if you take the thread back longer in the West, in America, there’s always been a fear of Chinese in America.” Chris also mentioned how former President Donald Trump’s reference to COVID-19 as the “China virus” and “Kung Flu” fueled anti-Asian sentiment during the pandemic, providing perpetrators “the ultimate authorisation to behave to the worst impulses that you had.” 

To read the full article, click here.

Please also take a look at previous blog posts from February 19March 1March 8March 15March 29, and May 10 highlighting news stories about our report. If you have come across a news report or article about our report that is not listed above, please let us know at main@aabany.org.

More public awareness about our report and the rise in anti-Asian violence is needed. Please share our report widely. If you have ideas or thoughts about how we can combat anti-Asian violence, please share them with us at main@aabany.org.

In the News: Executive Director Yang Chen and Board Director Chris Kwok Featured in The Spectator

AABANY Executive Director Yang Chen and Board Director Chris Kwok were recently mentioned in the April 28, 2021 edition of The Spectator, the Stuyvesant High School newspaper, in an article titled “Alumni Association Hosts Community Discussion on Anti-Asian Violence.” Both alumni of the school, Chris (’92) served as the moderator and Yang (’83) was one of the speakers in the April 15 community discussion. Other panelists included Joanne Kwong (’93), President of Pearl River Mart; Soo Kim (’93), President of the Stuyvesant High School Alumni Association; U.S. Representative Grace Meng (’93); Seung Yu, Principal of Stuyvesant High School; and current Stuyvesant juniors Christopher Liu, Xiaoshen Ma, Laura Xia, and Alice Zhu. During the discussion, panelists shared with over 200 attendees their personal experiences with race and their opinions on the recent increase of hate crimes and racism against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community.

Yang presented the findings and solutions outlined in AABANY’s report on anti-Asian violence and spoke about how AABANY is supporting the AAPI community. He stated: “One thing we’re pushing hard on is to make sure the NYPD Asian Hate Crimes task force is being fully funded. We’re very much supportive of any effort by law enforcement to bring attention to this issue and we’re trying to put as much word out as possible especially to the Mayor’s office. Mayor de Blasio denounced Asian-American violence a year ago but we’re still waiting for someone who is arrested for the crime to actually face criminal sanctions for it.”

To read the full coverage of the program on The Spectator, click here.

Chris Kwok Testifies Before the City Council Committee on Public Safety

On March 16, Chris Kwok testified on behalf of AABANY before the City Council Committee on Public Safety in support of two changes to the NYPD Asian Hate Crimes Task Force: to fully fund the Task Force and to replace its volunteer staff with paid personnel. An AABANY Board Director and Chair of the Issues Committee, Chris shared that AABANY was the first to publicly voice these recommendations in its report on anti-Asian violence. The report recounts numerous instances of assault and harassment against Asian Americans in New York over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, and Chris highlighted the persistence of such racially fueled attacks to this day. Chris also noted that media outlets, community leaders, and politicians have since backed AABANY’s proposals to fully fund and formally staff the Task Force. Among these supporters, Chris identified the inspector of the Task Force itself, New York mayoral candidate Andrew Yang, and all of the District 1 City Council candidates. District 1 covers Manhattan’s Chinatown among other neighborhoods and sites. In the face of unrelenting anti-Asian violence throughout the state, the statement concluded with Chris’s call for a fully funded and full-time task force to foster trust within the Asian American community and to encourage the continued reporting of anti-Asian hate crimes. To read Chris’s written statement, submitted with his testimony, click here. AABANY gratefully acknowledges Student Leader Taiyee Chien for his assistance in drafting the statement.

In the News: AABANY and Paul, Weiss’ Report on Anti-Asian Violence Cited in The Guardian and Madison.com

AABANY and Paul, Weiss’ report on anti-Asian violence was recently mentioned in a March 1, 2021 article on The Guardian about TurboVax, a bot created by Huge Ma to help New Yorkers across the state locate available COVID-19 vaccination appointments. Over the February 27 weekend, Huge Ma temporarily suspended TurboVax to protest the hate crimes against Asian Americans. In the article, The Guardian cited AABANY’s report on the surge of incidents of anti-Asian hate and violence. To read the full article, click here.

Chris Kwok, AABANY Board Director and Co-Executive Editor of the report, was interviewed in a madison.com segment titled “Anti-Asian attacks on the rise” on February 23, 2021. He encouraged Asian Americans who have experienced anti-Asian discrimination or harassment to report and discuss what happened, rather than let it go unreported.

Please also take a look at previous blog posts from February 19, March 1, and March 8 highlighting news stories about our report. If you have come across a news report or article about our report that is not listed above, please let us know at main@aabany.org.

More public awareness about our report and the rise in anti-Asian violence is needed. Please share our report widely. If you have ideas or thoughts about how we can combat anti-Asian violence, please share them with us at main@aabany.org.

In the News: Press Coverage on AABANY and Paul, Weiss’ Report on Anti-Asian Violence Continues

Since the release of AABANY and Paul, Weiss’ Report, A Rising Tide of Hate and Violence against Asian Americans in New York During COVID-19: Impact, Causes, Solutions on February 11, there has been ongoing widespread press attention in print and on air. Chris Kwok, Co-Executive Editor of the report and AABANY Board Director, has been interviewed by various news outlets on the reports’ findings including a segment on CNN Tonight, on Spectrum News NY1, and a City & State New York Ask the Experts article along with Taiyee Chien, one of AABANY’s Student Leaders. The report was also recently cited on the March 1st broadcast of the Brian Lehrer show.

Here is the current list of news stories about recent incidents of anti-Asian violence, where they mention AABANY’s report or quote Chris Kwok:

“紐約反亞裔暴力上升 提7點建議扭轉趨勢” February 11, 2021, Sing Tao Daily, https://www.singtaousa.com/ny/436-%E7%B4%90%E7%B4%84/3270435-%E7%B4%90%E7%B4%84%E5%8F%8D%E4%BA%9E%E8%A3%94%E6%9A%B4%E5%8A%9B%E4%B8%8A%E5%8D%87++%E6%8F%907%E9%BB%9E%E5%BB%BA%E8%AD%B0%E6%89%AD%E8%BD%89%E8%B6%A8%E5%8B%A2/

“武漢肺炎|紐約巿針對亞裔仇恨罪案激增7倍 分析指受害人不願報案問題被低估” February 13, 2021, AppleDaily (HK), https://hk.appledaily.com/international/20210213/W3QTOPQJBJCSTAA623TY6OWMDE/

“美國亞裔遭攻擊事件激增 拜登總統譴責暴力並採取行動” February 15, 2021, Voice of America, https://www.voacantonese.com/a/asian-american-rights-groups-call-for-actions-to-protect-communities/5777947.html 

“「黃皮膚」帶來病毒?美國亞裔遭攻擊2800起” By 李慧蘋, February 17, 2021, TVBS News (TW), https://news.tvbs.com.tw/life/1464804 

“Anti-Asian Hate Crimes are on the Rise—and the Community is Fighting Back” By Sarah Chung, February 28, 2021, New York City Lens, https://nycitylens.com/anti-asian-hate-crimes-rise-community-fighting-back/ 

“Hate Crimes Targeting Asian Americans Spiked by 150% in Major US Cities” By Masood Farivar, March 2, 2021, Voice of America, https://www.voanews.com/usa/race-america/hate-crimes-targeting-asian-americans-spiked-150-major-us-cities 

“Comment guérir les maux du « racisme américain » ?” March 3, 2021, Radio Chine Internationale, http://french.cri.cn/commentaire/2495/20210303/628538.html 

“What can be done to stem hatred against Asian Americans?” By Kay Dervishi, March 3, 2021, City & State New York, https://www.cityandstateny.com/articles/politics/ask-experts/what-can-be-done-stem-hatred-against-asian-americans.html 

“Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Spiked in L.A. Last Year” By Gwynedd Stuart, March 3, 2021, Los Angeles Magazine, https://www.lamag.com/citythinkblog/anti-asian-hate-crimes-los-angeles-2020/ 

“Hate Crimes Targeting Asian-Americans Spiked by 150% in 2020” By BR Web Desk, March 4, 2021, Business Recorder, https://www.brecorder.com/news/40070193 

“Hate Crimes Against Asian-Americans Are Up as Overall Crime Goes Down” By Shannan Ferry, March 5, 2021, Spectrum News NY 1, https://www.ny1.com/nyc/all-boroughs/news/2021/03/05/hate-crimes-against-asian-americans-up# 

“Police Data Shows 150% Increase in Hate Attacks on Asians Across Major Cities in 2020” By Ryan General, March 5, 2021, NextShark, https://news.yahoo.com/police-data-shows-150-increase-195216687.html 

“Anti-Asian violence has surged in the US since COVID-19. But it didn’t start there” By Maura Hohman, March 6, 2021, Today, https://www.today.com/news/anti-asian-violence-history-anti-asian-racism-us-t210645 

“Anti-Asian violence has spiked since the pandemic began” CNN Tonight, https://www.cnn.com/videos/us/2021/03/03/asian-hate-crime-coronavirus-covid-19-ctn-walker-pkg-hnk-vpx.cnn 

Please also take a look at previous blog posts from February 19 and March 1 highlighting news stories about our report. If you have come across a news report or article about our report that is not listed above, please let us know at main@aabany.org.

More public awareness about our report and the rise in anti-Asian violence is needed. Please share our report widely. If you have ideas or thoughts about how we can combat anti-Asian violence, please share them with us at main@aabany.org.

AABANY Report Cited on Brian Lehrer Show (WNYC FM)

The March 1st broadcast of the Brian Lehrer Show featured Arun Venugopal, a senior reporter for WNYC’s Race & Justice Unit. Together, Brian and Arun discussed the alarming rise in anti-Asian violence since the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brian opened the show by citing statistics from AABANY and Paul, Weiss’ co-authored report: A Rising Tide of Hate and Violence against Asian Americans in New York During COVID-19: Impact, Causes, Solutions. According to the report, there have been more than 2,500 anti-Asian hate incidents nationwide between March and September of 2020. Drawing on another finding of the AABANY report, Arun noted that targeted attacks are particularly commonplace in New York, where Asians are more at risk of physical assault, verbal harassment, and being coughed and spat on. Arun proceeded to draw awareness to a number of local hate incidents, the most recent among them being the stabbing of an Asian American man in Chinatown last Thursday. Citing the opinion of Chris Kwok, AABANY board director and co-executive editor of AABANY’s report, Arun noted that such attacks may be motivated by the stereotype that Asians are “soft targets” who will not fight back. Expanding on this notion, Arun stated that Asians must be seen as part of broader communities that will fight back.

In the remainder of the show, listeners from the Asian American community called in to voice their own experiences as victims of the “soft target” stereotype and express a similar desire for intersectional coalitions. While debates continue over how such coalitions may best be built, Arun pointed out that we all have a role to play in the here and now. By reporting bias incidents to groups like Stop AAPI Hate and the Asian American Federation, whose work is also discussed in the AABANY report, we can ensure that the issue of anti-Asian violence remains at the top of the nation’s political agenda. 

To listen to this episode of the Brian Lehrer Show in its entirety, click here.

In the News: AABANY and Paul, Weiss’ Report on Anti-Asian Violence Continues to Garner Widespread Press Attention

AABANY and Paul, Weiss’ report, A Rising Tide of Hate and Violence against Asian Americans in New York During COVID-19: Impact, Causes, Solutions, has continued garnering widespread press attention in print and on air following its release on February 11. There has been an increase in news outlets summarizing and citing the report’s findings since our previous account, including not just across the United States but Asia and Europe as well.

Here are some news stories about recent incidents of anti-Asian violence, where they mention AABANY’s report:

“Asian Americans face increased hate crimes amid COVID-19 pandemic” By Megan Schellong, February 19, 2021, WLNS, https://www.wlns.com/news/asian-americans-face-increased-hate-crimes-amid-covid-19-pandemic/

“Violence contre les asiatiques aux USA : Nancy Pelosi s’insurge” By Rodrigue Gozoa, February 19, 2021, La Nouvelle Tribune, https://lanouvelletribune.info/2021/02/violence-contre-les-asiatiques-aux-usa-nancy-pelosi-sinsurge/?cn-reloaded=1 

“House Dems renew call for hate crime law after anti-Asian attacks” By Michael Macagnone, February 19, 2021, Roll Call, https://www.rollcall.com/2021/02/19/house-dems-renew-call-for-hate-crime-law-after-anti-asian-attacks/

“Olivia Munn laments spiking hate crimes against Asian Americans as friend’s mother is attacked” By Clémence Michallon, February 19, 2021, The Independent, https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/olivia-munn-man-shove-asian-woman-new-york-b1804739.html 

“Asian Americans Express Alarm Over Recent Acts of Violence And Demand Action” By Arun Venugopal, February 20, 2021, Gothamist, https://gothamist.com/news/asian-americans-express-alarm-over-recent-acts-violence-and-demand-action 

“Civil rights advocates, officials denounce recent violence against Asian New Yorkers” By News 12 Staff, February 21, 2021, News 12 The Bronx, https://bronx.news12.com/civil-rights-advocates-officials-denounce-recent-violence-against-asian-new-yorkers

“COLUMN: Policing is not an appropriate response to the increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans” By Ellie Lin, February 21, 2021, The Maneater, https://themaneater.com/stories/opinion/column-policing-is-not-an-appropriate-response-to-the-increase-in-hate-crimes-against-asian-americans- 

“Xenofobia. La caccia all’«untore» asiatico adesso spaventa San Francisco” By Mariangela Mistretta, February 21, 2021, Avvenire, https://www.avvenire.it/mondo/pagine/la-caccia-alluntore-asiatico-adesso-spaventa-san-francisco 

“新冠疫情掀仇恨!美屢傳攻擊亞裔族群事件 犯罪激增8倍” February 22, 2021, Yahoo!, https://tw.news.yahoo.com/%E6%96%B0%E5%86%A0%E7%96%AB%E6%83%85%E6%8E%80%E4%BB%87%E6%81%A8%E7%BE%8E%E5%B1%A2%E5%82%B3%E6%94%BB%E6%93%8A%E4%BA%9E%E8%A3%94%E6%97%8F%E7%BE%A4%E4%BA%8B%E4%BB%B6-%E7%8A%AF%E7%BD%AA%E6%BF%80%E5%A2%9E-8-%E5%80%8D-034544295.html 

“It takes all of us to fight racial violence against Asian Americans” By Yahaira Galvez, February 23, 2021, The Diamondback, https://dbknews.com/2021/02/23/asian-american-racial-violence-coronavirus-aapi/ 

“Local View: Don’t brush off COVID-fueled anti-Asian hate” By Betty Casazza, Belissa Ho, Laura Judd, Julie Kim, Sharon Kwong, Jennifer Lien, Pakou Ly, and Sharon Yung, February 23, 2021, Duluth News Tribune, https://www.duluthnewstribune.com/opinion/columns/6899246-Local-View-Dont-brush-off-COVID-fueled-anti-Asian-hate 

“METROFOCUS: February 23, 2021” https://www.thirteen.org/metrofocus/2021/02/metrofocus-february-23-2021-7x8abz/ 

“Fil-Ams advised to be very cautious as anti-Asian hate crimes in US spike” By CNN Philippines Staff, February 26, 2021, CNN Philippines, https://cnnphilippines.com/world/2021/2/26/anti-Asian-hate-crimes-US-PH-embassy-cautions-Filipinos.html 

“Attacks on Asian-Americans in New York Stoke Fear, Anxiety and Anger” By Alexandra E. Petri and Daniel E. Slotnik, February 26, 2021, The New York Times, https://www.nytimes.com/2021/02/26/nyregion/asian-hate-crimes-attacks-ny.html?action=click&module=Top%20Stories&pgtype=Homepage 

“Brooklyn Man Charged With Hate Crime In Alleged Stabbing Of Asian Man In Lower Manhattan” By Jake Offenhartz, February 26, 2021, Gothamist, https://gothamist.com/news/brooklyn-man-charged-hate-crime-alleged-stabbing-asian-man-lower-manhattan 

“Demonstrators, Elected Officials Rally After Surge In Anti-Asian Hate And Violence” By Arun Venugopal, February 27, 2021, Gothamist, https://gothamist.com/news/demonstrators-elected-officials-rally-after-surge-anti-asian-hate-and-violence 

“环球深观察丨系统性种族歧视“系列剧”仍在美国上演” By 李鹏, February 27, 2021, Yznews.com.cn, http://news.yznews.com.cn/2021-02/27/content_7241226.htm 

“疫情下美國歧視亞裔案急增 針對長者屢見不鮮 辱罵至毆打樣樣來” By 歐敬洛, February 28, 2021, 香港01, https://www.hk01.com/%E5%8D%B3%E6%99%82%E5%9C%8B%E9%9A%9B/592980/%E7%96%AB%E6%83%85%E4%B8%8B%E7%BE%8E%E5%9C%8B%E6%AD%A7%E8%A6%96%E4%BA%9E%E8%A3%94%E6%A1%88%E6%80%A5%E5%A2%9E-%E9%87%9D%E5%B0%8D%E9%95%B7%E8%80%85%E5%B1%A2%E8%A6%8B%E4%B8%8D%E9%AE%AE-%E8%BE%B1%E7%BD%B5%E8%87%B3%E6%AF%86%E6%89%93%E6%A8%A3%E6%A8%A3%E4%BE%86 

“Hundreds in New York rally against anti-Asian hate” By Xinhua, March 1, 2021, Global Times, https://www.globaltimes.cn/page/202103/1216832.shtml 

If you have come across a news report or article about our report that is not listed above, please let us know at main@aabany.org.

More public awareness about our report and the rise in anti-Asian violence is needed. Please share our report widely. If you have ideas or thoughts about how we can combat anti-Asian violence, please share them with us at main@aabany.org.

In the News: AABANY and Paul, Weiss’ Report on Anti-Asian Violence Receives Widespread Press Attention

On February 11, AABANY held a press conference to discuss the release of its report co-authored with Paul, Weiss, A Rising Tide of Hate and Violence against Asian Americans in New York During COVID-19: Impact, Causes, Solutions. Since the report’s release, news media across the country and around the world have summarized and cited its findings. 

Here are some news stories that discuss the report:

“Study Shows Rise of Hate Crimes, Violence Against Asian Americans During the Pandemic” By Zijia Eleanor Song and Jennifer Vázquez, February 11, 2021, NBC New York, https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/crime-and-courts/study-shows-rise-of-hate-crimes-violence-against-asian-americans-in-nyc-during-covid/2883215/

“지난해 뉴욕 아시안 대상 혐오·폭력 사건 급증” By Shim Jongmin, February 12, 2021, The Korea Daily, http://www.koreadaily.com/news/read.asp?art_id=9086440 

“Greater Asian-American representation in leadership ranks needed to stem hate crimes in the US, says report” By Mark Magnier and Owen Churchill, February 12, 2021, South China Morning Post, https://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/3121518/greater-asian-american-representation-leadership-ranks-needed-stem-hate

“歧視亞裔 紐約市全美第2多 亞裔律師協會籲政府採取行動” By 顏潔恩, February 13, 2021, World Journal, https://www.worldjournal.com/wj/story/121381/5249694

“【武漢肺炎】紐約巿針對亞裔仇恨罪案大增7倍 分析指受害人不願報案問題被低估” February 13, 2021, Apple Daily, https://tw.appledaily.com/international/20210213/SRL5UCFZUZBJXAEQOKN42SY6I4/

“Amid COVID-19 Pandemic, Anti-Asian Violence Spikes Across the U.S.” February 15, 2021, NPR The Takeaway, https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/takeaway/segments/amid-covid-19-pandemic-anti-asian-violence-spikes-across-us 

“NY Bar Group Tackles Pandemic-Fueled Anti-Asian Crimes” By Marco Poggio, February 16, 2021, Law360, https://www.law360.com/pulse/articles/1354591 (subscription required)

Here are some news stories about recent incidents of anti-Asian violence, where they mention AABANY’s report:

“Anti-Asian Hate Crime Surge Fuels Demands for Systemic and Sensitive Responses” By Christine Chung, February 11, 2021, The City, https://www.thecity.nyc/2021/2/11/22279407/anti-asian-hate-crime-surge-fuels-demands-for-systemic-and-sensitive-responses 

“Remember, Racism Isn’t Just Black And White. Anti Asian Racism Is On the Rise in the Pandemic Era” By Eric Hinton, February 11, 2021, NBC 5 Dallas Fort-Worth, https://www.nbcdfw.com/lx/remember-racism-isnt-just-black-and-white-anti-asian-racism-is-on-the-rise-in-the-pandemic-era/2549631/ 

“VP Harris responds to surge in violent attacks against Asian Americans” By Hannah Miao, February 12, 2021, CNBC, https://www.cnbc.com/2021/02/12/vp-harris-responds-to-surge-in-violent-attacks-against-asian-americans.html 

“38 Ways to Donate in Support of Asian Communities” By The Editors, February 12, 2021, New York Magazine (The Strategist), https://nymag.com/strategist/article/where-to-donate-to-help-asian-communities-2021.html 

“大门涂粪诅咒!华人幼儿园遭种族仇恨攻击!暴力升级,全美亚裔吁政府采取行动!” By 新西兰中文先驱网, February 15, 2021, Chinese Herald, https://www.chineseherald.co.nz/news/education/racial-hate/ 

“Hundreds of volunteers are escorting elderly Asian Americans to keep them safe” By Austa Somvichian-Clausen, February 16, 2021, The Hill Changing America, https://thehill.com/changing-america/respect/equality/539083-attacks-on-elderly-asian-americans-cause-advocates-to-stand

The report has also made the news on WNYC-FM and MSNBC. If you have come across a news report or article about our report that is not listed above, please let us know at main@aabany.org.

More public awareness about our report and the rise in anti-Asian violence is needed. Please share our report widely. If you have ideas or thoughts about how we can combat anti-Asian violence, please share them with us at main@aabany.org.

AABANY Releases Report on Anti-Asian Hate Amid COVID-19

An eight-fold increase in reported hate crimes against Asians, racist rhetoric such as “the Chinese virus,” and insufficient media coverage of anti-Asian violence — these were among the timely issues discussed at a press conference hosted by the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) on February 11. The press conference centered around AABANY and Paul, Weiss’ co-authored report: A Rising Tide of Hate and Violence against Asian Americans in New York During COVID-19: Impact, Causes, Solutions. Speakers of note included:

  • Chris Kwok, Board Director, Issues Committee Chair
  • Karen King, Vice Chair, Pro Bono & Community Service Committee; Counsel, Paul, Weiss
  • U.S. Rep., Grace Meng (D-NY)
  • Prof. Russell Jeung, Stop AAPI Hate
  • President Frank Wu, Queens College, CUNY
AABANY President Sapna Palla and Executive Director Yang Chen were joined by executive editors of the report Chris Kwok and Karen King, professors Russell Jeung and Frank Wu, and Congresswoman Grace Meng.

The report’s primary finding is that anti-Asian hate and violence surged in 2020. Between March and September of that year, the number of reported anti-Asian hate incidents related to COVID-19 exceeded 2,500. 

At the press conference, Rep. Meng kickstarted the discussion of this grim reality by situating it against a backdrop of long-standing intolerance toward the AAPI community, which motivated the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. Meng condemned some of the nation’s top government officials and social institutions for fanning the flames of this deep-rooted racism. As noted in the report, the xenophobic rhetoric of elected officials, paired with misinformation spread by the media, normalizes and fuels disease-based stigma against Asians. The subsequent uptick in violence against Asian communities motivated Meng to propose and help pass House Resolution 908 in 2020 denouncing all forms of anti-Asian sentiment. While Meng described the bill as largely symbolic, it has since been incorporated into President Biden’s presidential memorandum, which includes concrete measures to disseminate COVID-19 resources in different languages and improve the collection of data on hate crimes. Meng’s fight to amplify voices within the AAPI community thus lights the path forward. “We’ve taken a positive step — an initial step — but we must continue to speak out whenever and wherever anti-Asian sentiment rises,” said Meng. 

A similar desire to spotlight the plight of AAPIs motivated Chris Kwok to serve as an executive editor for the report on anti-Asian violence. Since the onset of the pandemic, Kwok noted at the conference, there has not been a single prosecution or civil resolution for any incident of anti-Asian bias. A key purpose of the report is thus to show that Asian invisibility in the political and legal space has real-life consequences. Moving forward, Kwok hopes to inspire a constructive dialogue among Asians and other Americans alike. To that end, the report highlights seven initiatives that will help policyholders at all levels keep communities safe and hold perpetrators of violence accountable. These initiatives range from broad prescriptions, such as public education campaigns and collaboration among minority groups, to specific remedies, such as clear reporting mechanisms for victims and the more consistent prosecution of hate crimes. 

Professor Russell Jeung continued the discussion of possible solutions to anti-Asian hate incidents while echoing his concern about the divisive effects of COVID-19. Drawing from data he helped collect for Stop AAPI Hate, Jeung said that among United States cities, New York City reported the second-highest number of hate incidents in the past year. Assessing the range of anti-Asian hate incidents reported to Stop AAPI Hate, the report notes a concerning number of incidents involving verbal harassment, physical assault, and being coughed and spat on. Worse still, the youth and the elderly are the most common victims of racist attacks and consequent racial trauma. Among its federal recommendations to address this issue, Stop AAPI Hate proposes to expand civil rights protections for AAPIs experiencing discrimination, end the racial profiling of Chinese researchers, and mobilize a federal interagency response to anti-Asian hate amid the pandemic. As Jeung is quick to emphasize, this fight for the civil rights of Asian Americans is a fight to expand protections for all Americans. “Please stand up, speak out, build bridges, and together we can make good on the promise of a diverse democracy,” said Jeung.

In promoting the proposals of Stop AAPI Hate and the report, for which he wrote the foreword, Queens College President Frank Wu highlighted the importance of building multi-racial coalitions. Wu identified Black, Latinx, and other underrepresented communities as allies to the AAPI community. As emphasized in the report, stronger collaboration among such minority groups is especially critical in communities like New York City, whose diversity heightens the danger that hate incidents exacerbate racial politics. “It would be a mistake of principle and pragmatism to point the finger at another group and suggest that others are guilty by association,” said Wu. Instead, we must look to universal values and American ideals as forces for national unity. As Wu writes in the foreword to the report, “To be Asian American is to be American, to express confidence enough in an experiment of self-governance to participate wholeheartedly.”

President Frank Wu, Queens College, CUNY, wrote the foreword of the report.

Rep. Meng concluded the press conference by calling on all Americans, especially those raised in the United States, to identify and combat racism when it occurs within their own circles. Meng stated that too often, stories of victims from the AAPI community are left out of mainstream media and the public consciousness. Along with implementing the aforementioned policy recommendations, therefore, Meng emphasized the need for racial solidarity. Only then can Americans progress toward the shared goal of dismantling systemic racism in this country and advancing justice for all. 

ASIAN AMERICAN BAR ASSOCIATION OF NEW YORK ANNOUNCES RELEASE OF REPORT ON RISE OF ANTI-ASIAN VIOLENCE IN NEW YORK DURING COVID-19

NEW YORK – February 10, 2021 – The Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABANY) is proud to announce the release of its report co-authored with Paul, Weiss, ​A Rising Tide of Hate and Violence against Asian Americans in New York During COVID-19: Impact, Causes, Solutions​. Executive editors of the report were Chris Kwok, AABANY Board Director and Issues Committee Chair, and Karen King, Vice Chair of AABANY’s Pro Bono and Community Service Committee and Counsel at Paul, Weiss. The report is dedicated to Corky Lee, who passed away on January 27, 2021 due to COVID-19. Corky was a revered photographer in the Asian American community who had been documenting the effort to combat anti-Asian violence and harassment in the wake of COVID-19. Read more here.

To read A Rising Tide of Hate and Violence against Asian Americans in New York During COVID-19: Impact, Causes, Solutions, click here.