Westport organization urges action on stopping Asian hate crimes despite progress that's been made
The Westport organization AAPI says progress has been made in starting the conversation on Asian hate but urges that more action is needed from the community.
The Stop Asian Hate movement was prompted by vicious attacks on Asian Americans all over the country. It was just one year ago, behind the library on Jesup Green that hundreds of people from the Westport community came out to support the Stop Asian Hate movement.
"It's as if Asians have a target on their back and this has just been escalated ever since the pandemic began," says Pauline Brody, organizer of Chinese Americans of Fairfield County.
The organizers were back together again Wednesday hoping to add to the progress that's been made.
"I'm your attorney general yes, but if you go to my Twitter feed, you'll probably see somebody saying something bad about me and my race," says Connecticut Attorney General William Tong.
Organizers hosted a screening and panel discussion about how the community can better support Asian Americans.
"We should really attack it from both ways, which is really having a lot of discussions, lots of dialogue showing people that Asian Americans really are just Americans as well. We are not foreigners. We have been here for hundreds of years, and our history is American history, and we need to learn about it in schools," says Sarin Cheung, co-founder of AAPI Westport.
According to the Department of Justice, 64% of hate crimes in Connecticut in 2020 were racially motivated.
"I think violence is still happening," says Cheung. "It is being reported, but I don't think it's being reported as often as it used to be like in the spring of last year."
Organizers say change begins with education.
The group and others across the state continue to press for change as a bill is currently in the works. It would require Asian American and Pacific Islander studies to be included in the curriculum for Connecticut public schools.