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Standing Together Against Hate

A Statement on Anti-Asian Violence

from the

Heart and Soul Cultural Competency Committee

 

Our hearts are breaking.

We are frightened and shocked and outraged by the recent spate of violent and unprovoked racist attacks against Asian Americans. Lives have been lost, elders have been grievously injured, businesses and churches have been burglarized and vandalized. Individuals have been spat on, coughed at, physically assaulted, and bullied with threats and racial slurs. We mourn the loss of lives and condemn these acts of violence.

 

Heart and Soul staff members, peer participants, friends, and communities are living with the daily fear that they might be the next victim. They are feeling targeted, exposed, and vulnerable. We are saddened, and feel compelled to speak out in solidarity with the Asian American community.

 

Racial equity, social justice, and inclusion are key values of Heart and Soul.

Heart and Soul as a mental health agency takes seriously our role as an advocate to speak out against, and to educate the community about, individual and systemic prejudice and injustice. It is incumbent upon us to speak up for those who are impacted by it, and to demand change.

 

Racism thrives when oppressed communities are pitted against one another. Therefore, we reject any narrative that blames other people of color for anti-Asian racism. We reject arguments that use attacks on people of Asian ancestry to justify increased policing, state surveillance, and other actions that serve to further oppress communities of color. Instead, we embrace mutual aid and support for Black, Indigenous, People of Color and other marginalized communities. We embrace anti-racist solidarity because allyship and solidarity provide the most effective tools to dismantle all forms of racism and racial hatred.

 

Heart and Soul urges everyone troubled by recent events to channel anger into action and fear into understanding. It is time our elected leaders, schools and universities, unions and labor groups, industries and corporations, religious institutions and civic organizations do the same. We are all in this together, and unity – not division – is the only path to safety and peace for all.

 

As a mental health agency, we are aware of the traumatic effects, such as anxiety and PTSD, that can be triggered by these current events. We encourage peaceful protest and dialogue in a restorative way. Heart and Soul provides groups over Zoom where participants can talk about their feelings and emotions around the issues. Please see our website http://www.heartandsoulinc.org for information about virtual groups.

If you want to talk, call the Heart and Soul Peer Warm Line at (650) 231-2024.

One-on-one support is available 24/7.

 

If you are a victim of Anti-Asian hate and/or incidents:

You should call 911 if:

  • You are in immediate danger or in a life threatening situation

  • You fear for your personal safety or the safety of others

  • Someone is injured or experiencing a medical emergency

  • There is a fire

Please contact and report it to one of these organizations dedicated to assisting victims:

  • OCA Asian Pacific American Advocates Hate Incident Reporting: www.aapihatecrimes.org

  • Stop AAPI Hate Reporting Center:

       stopaapihate.org

 

If you witness an anti-Asian incident here are some things you can do:

  • Call 911

  • Take action. Go to the targeted person and offer support.

  • Actively listen. Before you do anything, ask – and then respect the targeted person's response. If need be, keep an eye on the situation.

  • Ignore attacker. Try using your voice, body language or distractions to de-escalate the situation (though use your judgment and protect your personal safety).

  • If it is safe to do so, document the incident with your cellphone camera.

  • Accompany. Ask the targeted person to leave with you if whatever is going on escalates.

  • Offer emotional support. Find out how the targeted person is feeling and help them determine what to do next.

 

How to be an ally:

  • A good place to begin is for AAPIs and their allies to acknowledge anti-Asian racism in the first place.

  • Reach out to your Asian friends and colleagues – but don't ask them to educate you.

  • Anti-Asian racism, like any form of racism, isn't new. Learn about the history of and present day anti-Asian racism in the U.S.

  • Give space for impacted individuals to process trauma, grieve, and heal.

  • Make a long-term commitment to being anti-racist. Get engaged for the long haul, not just in this moment of crisis.

  • Donate to AAPI causes and businesses. This list from New York magazine shares more than 60 ways to donate in support of Asian communities:

Where-to-donate-to-help-asian-communities

 

#StopAsianHate

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