As a check-in with fellow coaches at Leadership Education for Asian Pacifics, we shared our thoughts/feelings about the latest horrific Anti-Asian hate crime in Atlanta. The hour-long ZOOM call was cathartic.
As Canadian, American gun violence always jolts me. The targeted murder of eight in Atlanta was no exception. Violence with hate at a demographic, culture – stuns me. Being a Canadian I have self-righteously distanced myself from American action. And deep down I know, borders do not stop racism so stop pretending there is a distance for Canadians.
When looking up Asian Hate Crime – the top search response is Government of Canada statistics from 2004. Yes, 17 years ago. Today, Canadian Anti-Asian hate crimes are highest reported at 968 cases since Covid (as of March 22, 2021). 60% of all incidents are targeted at Asian women. And knowing my cultural upbringing, an East-Indian woman, taught to turn the other cheek makes me reflect that these statistics are only the incidents that are reported.
As I reflect on my actions in the past of being on the sidelines brings up shame. Shame for nervously laughing at a racist joke or comment, thinking turning the cheek was best. I would like to believe today I would act differently if someone what being racist. And so to make a plan, I went to experts of what could I do as a bystander?
I found a useful tool called the 5-D’s for Bystander Intervention called Show Up by CUP and Hollaback. Here is a high-level breakdown of their guidance:
- Distract – Take an indirect approach to deescalate
- Delegate – Get help from someone else
- Delay – After the incident is over check-in with the person being harassed
- Direct – Assess safety first. Speak up about the harassment being firm and clear.
- Document – Maybe helpful to video or document the incident
I stand up against Anti-Asian Racism. These guidelines help me be in action with anti-racist behavior and react faster as a helper vs a passive/shocked bystander.