Americas Stop Asian Hate

Group wants to fight hate, racism with affirmative action

By Gilda Balan, Correspondent

LOS ANGELES  — As former First Lady Michelle Obama famously said, “When they go low, we go high.”

The national coalition Stop AAPI Hate recently launched a multi-media storytelling campaign as part of the Asian American and Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Month.

The goal is for the community to act to tackle racism and inspire all to move towards positive change, according to an article for NBC Los Angeles written by Tracey Leong.

Manju Kulkarni, co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate, said: “Over centuries…our communities have experienced a lot of hate. But what we want to do is to say we’re more than victims of hate.”

When the non-profit was founded in 2020, its first goal was to document the dramatic rise in anti-Asian racism at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While the pandemic is now considered contained, anti-Asian racism continued nationwide. This year, Stop AAPI Hate created a visual anthem video that focuses on resilience, celebration, solidarity, and resistance.

In the video, David Rasavong related how his parents were forced to shut down their Thai restaurant in Fresno in 2022 after racist lies about their business were circulated online.

The Rasavong family had immigrated from Laos 40 years ago.

Rasavong said: “We actually even received death threats, and that was the scary part for me because if I’m not there, what then happens?” His immigrant parents are not that fluent in English, he added.

David Rasavong also experienced bullying as a child, and is hurt that he sees it still happening even if they have been US citizens for four decades now.

He, however, refused to let hate win. He opened another restaurant to honor his parents, and called it Love and Thai.
Kulkarni said: Shifting the narrative, encouraging positive storytelling on how our communities see ourselves and how others see us…part of it, too, is the healing. That comes from talking about resilience.”

The NBC Los Angeles article says the campaign aims to showcase how people have grown “from the racial trauma to inspire actions towards justice.”

Moreso after Florida and Georgia recently passed bills banning Chinese immigrants from owning property, and 33 other states have similar bills pending.

“That’s why we want folks to hear these messages,” said Kulkarni, “we want them to know some of the bad and a lot of the good, which is that it’s still in our hands to do something and to fight back and engage in our democracy.”

The mission of the video campaign is to overpower hate with love and strength of the AAPI community. Filipinos and FilAms are considered an integral part of that community.

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