May 1st marked the official kickoff of Asian-American/Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. While we join with our AAPI colleagues, patients, and families, in celebration of their vibrant culture and vast contributions to our society, we cannot ignore the continued increase in hate-related violence that has been brought upon this community in recent years. The AAPI community has faced institutional racism for years, however this has dramatically increased over the past year during the COVID-19 crisis.
According to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, in 2020 the overall hate crime rate decreased by 7%, but at the same time hate crimes focused at AAPI people increased by 149%. Fueled by fear and hateful rhetoric broadcast by some people in positions of great influence, members of this community have faced and continue to face unfathomable threats to their homes, schools, community spaces, places of worship, business, and lives..