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Cal-APABA Statement Denouncing Racism and Xenophobia; Reporting Hate Crimes; Resources

April 07, 2020 3:14 PM | Anonymous

The California Asian Pacific American Bar Association (Cal-APABA) condemns the alarming increase in racist and xenophobic acts against Asian-Pacific Americans since the outbreak of COVID-19 in January of this year.

These hate incidents have ranged from microaggressions to outright attacks.  For example, an Asian American teen in San Fernando Valley was physically attacked at school by bullies who accused him of having the coronavirus.  A Thai American woman was the target of a hate-filled rant regarding the coronavirus by a stranger while riding the Los Angeles Metro. A South Korean American journalist was subjected to an appalling, anti-Asian racial slur while she was setting up to report in the field in Los Angeles.

It is clear that these are not isolated incidences.  According to a study conducted by faculty members at San Francisco State University’s Asian American Studies Department, there were more than 1,000 reported cases of xenophobia towards Chinese communities and Chinese Americans between January 28 and February 24.  According to the online reporting forum Stop AAPI Hate, from its inception on March 18 to about March 26, it has received more than 650 direct reports of discrimination against primarily Asian Americans. Racism and xenophobia are wrong and contrary to our values.  They also undermine our efforts to battle the COVID-19 outbreak by perpetuating the false belief that the disease is tied to certain countries or certain people when in fact the disease does not discriminate and has spread to every continent except Antarctica.

Cal-APABA further denounces the use by the Trump administration and other government officials of racially loaded language in discussing the novel coronavirus and COVID-19.  Referring to the pandemic as the “Chinese Virus,” “Wuhan Virus,” “Kung-Flu” or similar term is unacceptable and must stop. As history has shown, use of such language fuels the targeting of Asian Pacific Americans as foreign threats and places Asian Pacific Americans in danger of harassment, discrimination and violence.

Now more than ever we need to unite as a country.  Use of racially loaded language only serves to divide us.  Racism and xenophobia only serve to harm us. We must bring an end to these hateful acts so we can focus on coming together and conquering the COVID-19 outbreak.


If you are a hate crime victim, you should:

  1. Contact the local police or sheriff right away! (Call 9-1-1.)

  2. Get medical attention (if you need it).

  3. Gather evidence: 

    1. Write down the exact words that were said.

    2. Make notes about any other facts so you don't forget them.

    3. Save all evidence (e.g., graffiti, egg shells, writing on victim's vehicle). If safe, wait until law enforcement arrives and takes photos.

    4. Get the names, addresses, phone numbers, and emails of other victims and witnesses.

    5. Try to get a description from any eyewitnesses of the criminal or the vehicle.

  4. Share your story with both the Stop AAPI Hate Reporting Center and Stand Against Hatred.

  5. Report to the California DOJ’s Victim Services Unit (877-433-9069) and federal hotlines

State Resources: Hate crimes brochures are available from the California Department of Justice in fourteen languages, including: English, Cambodian, Chinese (Traditional), Hindi, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Punjabi, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.


Important nonprofit organizations on the front lines of the outbreak (adapted in part from theWashington Post)

Philanthropy California: Philanthropy California is an alliance of Northern California, Southern California, and San Diego Grantmakers.  Philanthropy California’s disaster resilience team is coordinating with state agencies and partners to respond to the threat and potential impacts of COVID-19/Coronavirus.  The organization will vet funds, providing recommendations, and supporting our community with safety tips.

American Red Cross: Due to the cancellation of blood drives, the American Red Cross faces a severe blood shortage. Healthy individuals are needed to donate now to maintain a sufficient supply. Make an appointmenthere or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to find a local donation site.

Meals on Wheels: Delivers nutritious meals to the country’s most vulnerable seniors. Donations will replenish food supplies, subsidize additional transportation and personnel and enable tech-based efforts to check in on isolated elderly recipients. You can contact your local provider or donate to the national grouphere.

Center for Disaster Philanthropy Covid-19 Response Fund:

Supports nonprofit organizations working in areas identified as having high numbers of affected individuals and those working with the most vulnerable populations. Areas of emphasis include helping health-care workers with purchases of masks, gowns, gloves and other protective equipment; supporting quarantined and vulnerable individuals; and hygiene promotion campaigns to limit the spread of the virus. You can donatehere.


California Coronavirus Response -- statewide updates and resources

San Francisco Coronavirus Updates -- local updates and resources

COVID-19 Resources for Undocumented Californians -- for our undocumented immigrant communities

San Francisco Together -- ways you can help individuals and local businesses in need

Eviction Protection (From Korean American Coalition): Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order that authorizes local governments to halt evictions for renters and homeowners, slows foreclosures, and protects against utility shutoffs for Californians affected by COVID-19. The order does not relieve a tenant from the obligation to pay rent, or restrict the landlord’s ability to recover rent that is due. The protections are in effect through May 31, 2020, unless extended. The order also requests banks and other financial institutions to halt foreclosures and related evictions during this time period. The full Executive Order can be found here.

On March 19, 2020, Supervisor Kathryn Barger, Chair of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, signed an Executive Order which includes the moratorium on residential and commercial evictions. The moratorium covers tenants retroactively from March 4, 2020 to May 31, 2020. For view the complete proclamation, click here. Learn more at:

​Meals for Students: LAUSD is opening 60 grab & go food centers across the County where you can pick up food for your children. 

Meals for Seniors:  The Los Angeles County Department of Workforce Development, Aging and Community Services and the City of Los Angeles Department of Aging operate congregate meal sites, primarily at senior centers and parks. To ensure older adults continue to receive meals in a manner that reduces exposure and risk to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), all sites that serve congregate meals will transition to distribute packaged/frozen meals or home-delivered meals. 

List of Resources in Los Angeles

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