Peak Support stands with the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community and denounces white supremacy in all its forms.
Hate crimes and violence against Asian Americans have risen dramatically in the past year, driven in part by rhetoric from senior leaders in the American government. The recent shooting of six women of Asian descent is only the latest and most violent incident.
Anti-Asian racism is not new; like other people of color, Asians have had to fight for the right to be full U.S. citizens. Racism also infuses the history of U.S. colonialism in Asia, particularly in the Philippines, where most of Peak Support’s team is based.
In the U.S., we have a tendency to see history as a constant march of progress. This recent rise shows us that this march is not constant, and does not happen on its own; we must work for it. We’re committed to doing the work.
We reached out to our team members to ask them to share their thoughts and reflections on the recent rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans. Here, we've included their words. Below, we’ve also included links to other articles and resources that we’re learning from this week.
"This is the best time to use our voices"
When I first heard about the rise in Asian American attacks, I immediately checked in with my mom. Thank God they have not had a single experience of it, and I hope it stays that way. However, this doesn’t keep me from worrying about my family members and friends in the US. Seeing the news every day with how violent some people can be, it’s scary. I was anxious because of the pandemic and this has made it even worse.
On the other hand, seeing that there are still more people who would choose to fight for what’s right, stand up against any kind of violence, and have the courage to help eradicate racism and make the world a better place for all, keeps my faith in humanity. I think this is the best time to use our voices, our platform, and our audience to spread kindness, and stand up against the Asian American attacks and any form of violence. Let’s not forget that the real battle we are fighting here is COVID-19.
-Patricia Panibio, Operations Manager,
"It breaks my heart that somebody could feel so much hatred towards me"
Any type of violence, regardless of the reason behind it, always strikes fear among people. The recent attacks on Asian-Americans in America have been terrifying to say the least. It breaks my heart to know that somebody could feel so much hatred towards me simply because of the shape of my eyes or the country I was born in.
I have always dreamed about what it would be like to go on a vacation to the U.S. and see its famed tourist attractions and metropolitan cities. But due to the rising number of hate crimes and blatant displays of racism and rage towards minorities in the country, I have become fearful for my family and my safety should we ever choose to visit the U.S. sometime in the future.
I have watched many videos, on social media about Asian-Americans and other minorities in the U.S. being verbally and physically attacked in different establishments in various cities/states. And every time I see these disturbing videos, I feel disgusted, scared, and mad. Disgusted at how more often than not, other people in the area at the time of the incident, just sit and watch and do nothing. I feel scared that it could happen to a friend or a relative at any time with no warning. And anger at how these racist people can be so self-righteous to think that they are better simply because of the color of their skin or their birthright to a country.
I have many friends and relatives who now live and work in the U.S., and I often worry about their well-being. One would think that with all the violence and oppression thrown towards minorities in the past, we’d all already have learned our lesson, become better, and risen above it. But it seems as though we're still far from that.
All these senseless attacks on Asian-Americans and minorities in the U.S. have got to stop NOW. And it starts with us making a stand to fight for what's right and not what's convenient. It's about dropping our impractical sense of entitlement and irrational sense of privilege. And it starts with us showing more compassion towards other people, despite our differences.
-Aidz Estrella, Sales and Marketing Associate
"We are all praying for the best"
It's heartbreaking to hear the news about violence towards Asian Americans especially whenever I hear certain news about Filipinos experiencing hate really do hit so close to home.
I'm very lucky and thankful enough that I haven't experienced any form of racism or hate firsthand, but these recent events have raised some worries and safety concerns for me and my relatives that are currently living here in the US. I'm also very grateful that I'm able to discuss this with my family and receive encouragement and support. Despite all of this, we are all praying for the best and hoping that it will all end soon.
-Catherine Catajan, Community Support Agent
"I am scared for them"
Had to check on my two aunts living in New Jersey. They are fine but to be honest, I am scared for them. With all the news and posts on social media about the rising hate crimes towards Asian, I just can’t help it. Pandemic is already difficult but having series of issues that all circle back to racism, it is too much. Continuing to pray for the safety of all our families and friends in the US.
-Jan Merrick Lazaro, Director of Operations
"The joy have been replaced with worries and concern."
My vacations to America have always been pleasant and delightful. Aside from those happy memories, we used to celebrate and be really happy when relatives relocate to the US because of all the great things in America. The recent events changed my feelings toward friends and family moving to US now.
The joy have been replaced with worries and concern. It is painful to see news about people getting hurt or dying because of the hate. I can’t wrap my head around the fact that the America I knew back then is no longer the America that it is now. Despite all that, I am hopeful because of the people I know who continue to advocate for what is right. As long as people continue to stand up against racism, discrimination and say no to hate - this will will all end, I hope soon.
-Aimee Fermo, Director of Operations
"I believe there are far more people who are accepting of Asians"
Personally, I feel like one big factor causing this was how the other governments blamed the Chinese govt on how they handled the situation. I also think these people who feel strongly against Asians are people who grew up in an environment that promote a racist mindset to begin with. With people's livelihood and living situations impacted, I guess it aggravated the situation, and that some might be simply looking for others to blame on the hardships they are experiencing. I believe there are far more people who are accepting of Asians, and these acts of racism is just a very small fraction of the overall population.
-Hazel Abijay, Sr. Engagement Manager
Resources we're reading:
This is What No One Tells You About Being Asian in America in 2021 (written by Sharon Kwon, shared on LinkedIn with additional comments by Bijal Shah)
The Long, Ugly History of Anti-Asian Racism and Violence in the U.S., from the Washington Post
NPR shared a series of stories and first person accounts of some of those attacks faced in the last year. Click here to explore those stories.