H&M's statements about forced labor in Xinjiang have angered both Chinese and human rights groups.
Hate is a Virus
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Hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the U.S. have been on the rise since 2015, but shot up 150% with the covid-19 pandemic and the "blame China" rhetoric of the 2020 campaign. Bias and discrimination aren't new, of course. Neither is violence. An anti-Chinese riot in Los Angeles in 1871 left at least eighteen dead. Hostility towards Chinese yielded the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act. Other people of Asian ancestry would also be kept from immigrating while those already here were discriminated against. The best known case of this was the incarceration of 120,000 Japanese and Japanese Americans without charge let alone trial during World War II.
Interest in Asia and people from Asia have been part of the U.S. story from the first decades of the new republic. The U.S. Census Bureau reported last year that there were at least 23 million people of Asian ancestry in the U.S. Still, many in America think of Asians and Pacific Islanders as foreigners. In a recent poll, almost two-thirds of Asian Americans reported being asked questions that assumed "they weren't from here." Almost half were asked if they spoke English. Violent attacks against AAPI individuals have become more and more frequent, with the latest case, an assault on a 65-year old woman in New York City, occurring on Monday.
Three weeks ago we condemned this bias and the mistreatment it engendered. Many organizations have spoken out and anti-hate rallies have drawn crowds. The violence has generated media attention, here and abroad. This week President Biden announced actions to address the rise in anti-AAPI violence, including funding for new programs.
We will be discussing all of this Thursday, April 1st at 4pm (Pacific) at our webinar Hate Is A Virus: Combatting Prejudice Against Asian Americans. Please join us and please encourage others to do so as well.
We have also created a page with statements against the prejudice and violence and with resources for those who have been abused and for those anxious to join the campaign against hate.
The USC U.S.-China Institute hosted a panel discussion to look at the biases and discrimination against Asians and Asian Americans, the resistance to it, the role America’s relationships with Asia play in shaping perceptions, and trends in Asian American political participation.
Please join the USC U.S.-China Institute for an online panel discussion on the Belt and Road Initiative in Southeast and Central Asia.