Solutions for Asian-American Harassment

Goals

Provide information surrounding potential solutions for issues around Asian-American harassment and violence to include in a report for a nonprofit organization.
  • Focus on solutions related to public safety, political representation, and prosecuting violators or getting legal and judicial systems to treat Asian hate as a serious issue.
  • Solutions should combat the lack of protection for Asian-Americans, which is linked to public safety and political representation issues, and the lack of recourse, which is linked to failures to prosecute.
  • The draft of the report is available here.
  • The final report will look similar to "5 Key Challenges Impacting Restaurants in the Pandemic: 13 Fund’s Philanthropic Investment Thesis on Small Business Development" by Bilal Mahmood.

Early Findings

Data Availability

The initial round of research suggests that there is adequate information available on the topic.

Early Findings

Overcoming Political Marginalization

  • Asian-Americans have been demanding immediate action to increase their representation in politics on the federal level.
  • In March 2021, two Democratic senators, who are Asian-American, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Tammy Duckworth of Illinois, said they would oppose any upcoming senate nominees if the lack of diversity isn't addressed.
  • There were several announcements around nominations of diverse candidates, including for the top US trade envoy and the surgeon general. However, experts on the topic acknowledge that truly meaningful legislation changes and sufficient representation will take years to establish.
  • One reason is that people in the Asian-African community are only starting to speak out for themselves. Many of them have been taught to persevere in silence.
  • As a result, Asian-American people often "lack the vocabulary of advocacy and how to find for themselves." Only recently, as more of them want to take a stance against injustice, groups are being formed to equip them with those skills.
  • For example, activists from the Asian American and Pacific Islander community are working with activists from African-American and Latino communities to better prepare Asian-American people for public participation and "unify distinct heritages."

Solutions from the Report by Asian American Bar Association of New York

  • The report "A Rising Tide of Hate and Violence against Asian Americans in New York During COVID-19" by Asian American Bar Association of New York provides potential solutions to several problems related to Asian-American violence.
  • Regarding the lack of protection that results in the fear of reporting, it proposes clear, simplified reporting mechanisms that ensure anonymity during the initial stages. It could include an official website or a hotline, available in multiple languages.
  • It also urges police and prosecutors to "develop uniform policies and procedures that are followed consistently for classifying, documenting, and reporting hate crimes as well as investigating and prosecuting potential hate crimes that are followed consistently where circumstances suggest hate may have been the motivation for the crime."
  • Whenever there are reasons to suspect hate as the motivation, policies and procedures should support the rigorous investigation. Currently, they support marginalizing the issue instead.
  • The report also encourages the New York Court System to provide greater transparency by publishing data on hiring and promotions, broken down by ethnicity, race, religion, gender, and sexual orientation, offer cultural sensitivity and racial bias training to all personnel throughout the state, provide more and better-qualified language interpreters to ensure sufficient participation by all Americans, and support independent organizations.

Systemic, Long-term Action

  • 85 Asian-American and LGBTQ organizations have opposed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which was enacted on May 20, as an ineffective solution to combat Asian-American violence. The activists claim that it doesn't address the root of the problem, which is systemic injustice.
  • According to them, increased prosecution and incarceration will do little to stop the violence, since many of the prosecutors have mental health issues or live in poverty. They advocate for taking resources away from law enforcement to fund community-based initiatives such as mental health care infrastructures, neighborhood trauma centers, and community food banks.
  • They also want bias violence to be recognized as a public health issue, which should be fought with prevention efforts and noncriminal legal research.

Summary

  • Within the first hour, we were able to provide a brief overview of several solutions proposed or undertaken by non-profit organizations and activists.
  • We recommend continuing the research to provide more insights into solutions in each of the key focus areas, which are public safety, political representation, and prosecuting violators.
  • We will include both federal and regional-level solutions.
  • Please note that while we could access the draft of the report, additional resources, including Clubhouse discussion, and AAJC's resources and interview, are restricted. Still, we tried to avoid sources that cite participants of the Clubhouse discussion or AAJC.

Research proposal:

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