Stop The Hate

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From CORE's Site

CORE’s goal is to create a safe community for people to learn more about diversity. “Overall it’s just understanding that we are people, too,” CORE marketer Nguyen Pham said.

       While waiting for the bus, two women were stabbed. An elderly woman was attacked while walking along a market street. A group of women were hit in the head with a hammer. A man was walking with his one-year-old son when he was brutally attacked. A sixty-one-year-old man was hospitalized after getting attacked in New York City. All of these people had one thing in common: They were Asian.

       Anti-Asian hate crimes have been on the rise since March 2020. There has been a 223% jump in New York City alone. Most of these attacks on the Asian community are related to the Covid-19 pandemic. In Colorado, Asian people have been spit on, pushed into traffic, and have received extreme death threats. 

       “There has been a rise in anti-Asian sentiment that is deeply rooted in a lot of the politics that have been going on these past few years, and it’s been growing,” marketer for Community Organizing for Radical Empathy (CORE), Nguyen Pham, said. “We had that Atlanta shooting, and I think ever since then we’ve seen a monumental rise in hate crimes.”

       With an issue so intense, it can be hard to figure out what someone can do to help. The best step, according to CORE, is education. Stay up to date on what is happening and spread the word to your family and friends. 

       “I genuinely think education is key. I think these things happen when people are unaware and ignorant of what goes on in the community,” Pham said. “I just think staying aware and understanding that this is something that’s happening, and kind of being on the lookout for what you can do to not contribute to the issue.”

       For teens, it can be hard to find the steps to take when it comes to serious world issues such as anti-Asian American hate crimes. However, teens can play a huge role in putting an end to injustice.

       “Asian Americans are American citizens. People stood up for BLM, so why not do the same for the Asian Community?” junior Jenna Stricker said. “I have not done anything really to raise awareness, which is sad because I wish I could figure out a way to.” 

       There are thousands of organizations in America and Colorado that aim to help specific issues such as these hate crimes. Several organizations are geared towards spreading awareness and creating a safe community where people can educate themselves on what is happening.

       “I was doing research when the pandemic started and I discovered the Mayor’s Youth Commission, and I did some digging around and stumbled upon Denver Asian American Pacific Islander Commission (DAAPIC),” East High School senior and DAACIP commissioner, Kai Vong, said. “Spreading awareness and educating yourself and supporting Asian media… There’s a lot of ways teens can support and it doesn’t have to be super complicated.”

       Living in a small town like Conifer can be a mental challenge for some people. Whether it’s someone’s ethnicity, religion, or sexuality, there can be a stigma or a misunderstanding towards minorities. 0.5% of Conifer’s population is Asian.

       “We aren’t as exposed to the world as other schools, so we don’t hear about these things. I feel angry at the people who cause pain to others, but I also feel sadness for them because there must be something in their life that has caused them to harm others,” senior Helen Erickson said. “I fear for myself in particular times, and even though I know I’m safe, that’s what everyone else thought before they were harmed.”

       Fear, anger, and sadness are just a few of the emotions people feel towards what is happening. However, taking action can help raise awareness. Using your voice and informing yourself are the first steps to take.

       “Support the communities and be as open and respectful as possible, not only to Asian Americans but just all people in general. You never truly know what people are going through,” Vong said. “Kindness is just the gateway to everything.”