#StopAsianHate in the UK & What You Can Do To Help

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Ava Parkinson

From March 2020 to February 2021, the Stop AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) Hate Reporting Centre recorded 3,795 cases of anti-Asian incidents. Additionally, the Centre for the Study of Hate Extremism reported a 149% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in the US. It is painful that it took the shooting of  eight people, including  six Asian American women, in an anti-Asian hate crime for this issue, which has been prevalent in our society for decades, to be brought to light. 

Although the increased coverage on anti-Asian hate crime in the US has popularised #StopAsianHate, the lack of coverage on this issue among British media is genuinely disappointing, which brings dangers to the Asian community in the UK. For example, misconceptions that influence the narratives that anti-Asian racism does not exist in the UK are created, along with people thinking that this is  not a prominent issue. .. This narrative is also influenced by the encouragement of xenophobia and Sinophobia since the beginning on the pandemic. These false narratives could not be further from the reality. In fact, police data suggests a 300% rise in anti-Asian hate crime reports in the UK. 

Even prior to the pandemic, anti-Asian hate crimes were extremely prevalent in the UK which cannot be ignored. A vast majority of the victims of racial attacks or discrimination believe that all of this prejudice is usually ignored or not treated with the amount of severity or attention than it should be. This lack of awareness on anti-Asian racism directly feeds into the culture of making jokes or offhand comments at the expense of the wider Asian community. 

 

Multiple Asian-owned businesses and, of course, members of the Asian community have come under attack for merely existing. 

When a video was released of an employee at the Dumpling Shack in Spitalfields Market getting spat on and called racial slurs by a racist, people questioned the video and accused the owner of the shop  for “calling racism at every opportunity”. The owner of the shop also stated “in a few months we will bring my daughter into this world. Is it too utopian to think that she won’t have to fear what her heritage and culture brings her and that she can feel proud to be a British born Chinese?” 

The Kova Patisserie, a Japanese bakery chain, London Chinatown branch was targeted in a vandalism hate crime, in which the windows of the shop were painted black. In Kova’s now deleted Instagram post, they released a statement detailing the incident. 

Wang, a 65 year old retiree who has lived in London for the past 3 decades, has faced multiple cases of racially charged verbal abuse from the people living in his apartment. In one incident, Wang was pushed down the stairs by a teenager who had been the main aggressor in the racist attacks. Wang broke his arm which required urgent bone fracture repairment, leaving him permanently injured. Wang now suffers from PTSD from this attack. Wang reports that the police who questioned him only asked if there was CCTV footage of the incident. Then, the case was closed without his knowledge. 

Jonathan Mok, a 23 year old Singaporean student in the UK, was physically assaulted by a 16 year old boy on Oxford Street who continuously shouted abuse such as “Chinese virus” and “get out of my country”. The injuries he suffered from this attack required facial reconstruction surgery. The teenager who attacked Mok was convicted of racially aggravated grievous bodily harm following a trial at Highbury Corner Youth Court. This incident has left Mok with  insomnia and heightened anxiety. 

 

What can we do to help?

End The Virus of Racism is a UK based charity aiming to advocate for and support those of who have been victims of anti-Asian hate crimes. They intend to use their growing influence to further enforce a zero-tolerance policy on racism on hate crimes towards people of East and Southeast Asian heritage. 

There is a concerning lack of charities/support groups solely centred around addressing the recent rise in anti-Asian hate crimes. End The Virus of Racism says, “Our objective is to create a nonprofit which will plug this gap, add much-needed capacity to address this distinct form of racism and to work with already existing and longstanding organisations that tackle racism more broadly, and which serve the East and Southeast Asian communities on other issues such as housing and immigration support.” 

End The Virus of Racism is also looking to set up a hotline for Asian victims of racial abuse to call during times of need and support. They also aim to “build and support a coalition of East and Southeast Asian organisations”. In terms of advocacy, with their growing influence, they hope to fully hold the UK government, the Home Secretary, the police, and British media to account. 

To further support this group, and in turn the victims of anti-Asian hate crimes and attacks in the UK, you can find the charity through a simple google search and donate to their cause. These donations will go towards supporting victims of hate crime, advocacy (advocate on behalf of the community’s behalf) and research (strive to be a centre for knowledge on problems faced by these communities).