As Anti-Asian Attacks Hike, Here’s How Brands Can Help
Over the last year, Asian Americans have not just been battling for their health and livelihoods but for their lives.
Blamed for the so-called “Kung Flu,” hate crimes against this demographic have jumped by 1,900 percent in New York — from 3 cases in 2019 to 28 in 2020 — with many more incidents unreported or not classified as hate crimes. Nationwide, over 2,800 race-based verbal and physical attacks were reported firsthand to the Stop AAPI Hate site from March to December 2020. Several on the receiving end of this violence have been the elderly, including an 89-year-old Chinese woman set on fire in Brooklyn and a 61-year-old Filipino man slashed with a boxcutter on a subway.
To raise awareness around this crime surge, Asian Americans are now using the hashtag #StopAsianHate to amplify news coverage as well as share their own experiences with discrimination. From prominent Asian celebrities like Olivia Munn and Henry Golding to fashion influencers like Phillip Lim and Kimora Lee Simmons, those with a platform are encouraging others to take a stand.
Brands, too, have begun breaking their silence. Kate Spade, Nike, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, and Valentino, among others recently made statements online condemning racism, though many simply offered variations of white text on black squares. But as speaking out on social movements becomes increasingly expected from businesses (Edelman found that 53 percent of customers agree every brand has a responsibility to get involved in at least one social issue), it’s not enough to “stand united.” Beyond talk, businesses need to take action — and perhaps the easiest way to do so is by donating.
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