On Saturday, March 13, 2021, from 11 a.m. to noon, there was a political rally in San Jose’s City Hall to support the Asian American Pacific Islander community.
In the past year, the AAPI community had been targeted with harassment and violence as many people have scapegoated Asians for the COVID pandemic.
Just last week, a Filipina American health worker was assaulted in San Jose’s Diridon Caltrain Station by a man who said anti-Asian epithets against her.
San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo and various political leaders and law enforcement officials voiced their support for the Asian American Pacific Island community during a time when bigotry against the community is on the rise. San Jose police officers handed out stickers with the website SJPD.org/SafePlace to let individuals know where to report if they are subject to any hate crimes or harassment. Volunteers handed out free alarms for elderly Asian individuals to warn people if they are subject to any sort of harassment.
Between March and December 2020, Stop AAPI Hate, an initiative that tracks and responds to reported incidents of violence directed at Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders, received more than 2,800 reports of incidents against Asian-Americans. Elderly Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have been especially targeted. Within the past few months, an 84-year-old Thai American man was murdered in San Francisco, a 91-year-old man was shoved to the ground in Oakland’s Chinatown, a 64-year-old Vietnamese grandmother was assaulted in San Jose and a Filipino American man was slashed in the face with a box cutter in New York City.
There is a long history of bigotry and violence against the Asian American community. In the Chinese Massacre of 1871, a white mob hanged nearly 20 Chinese immigrants in Los Angeles. In 1930, hundreds of white men terrorized Filipino farmworkers in Watsonville, California. After Pearl Harbor, Japanese-Americans were interned in camps and were deprived of their rights as American citizens. During the 1970s, the Ku Klux Klan tried to drive Vietnamese-Americans out of Texas by burning their houses and boats.