By Qingqing Ouyang (‘23)
AAPI hate crimes have occured for several years, but this year their prominence has affected many more people and become a more known problem. Not only COVID-19, but violence towards the AAPI community has also undeniably caused pain to many people.
The combination of these two factors has also contributed to affect businesses, and a few Asian Businesses have even been impacted negatively due to hatred of the ethnicity. For example, the National ACE’s (National Asian/Pacific Islander American Chamber of Commerce and Entrepreneurship) CEO and president Chiling Tong stated that recent hatred has pushed more than 84% of AAPI businesses towards a negative direction. Just like other businesses owned by minority ethnic groups, the bias is very significant, and it is important to bring awareness to this topic.
One business owner Mike Nguyen from San Antonio, stated how his restaurant has been vandalized with hate messages and disturbing phrases. He was enraged, but also frightened for the safety of his employees and the building itself. Death threats, suspicious phone calls, and slander on social media became more common for Asian entrepreneurs, and customers also left due to the fear of “Asian viruses” spreading. Asian business owners have used more money just to buy protection for themselves and their businesses, which also negatively affected the business as more money is being spent to keep the business open and employees safe.
There are several ways we can help, which are listed below: Firstly, we can aid AAPI businesses by buying their services and goods, which will support them. This will allow these businesses to make a comeback. Next, citizens can organize protests and create media content to spread awareness. Taking action to fund these organizations and attending AAPI events can lead to more widespread attention. And, if you ever see hate taking place, call 911 or cut in. During this time it is especially necessary to not be a bystander.