The organization recording hate anti-Asian crimes, Stop AAPI Hate, has had a large profile during the surge in hate toward Asian Americans during the pandemic. Because of this high profile, two articles that talk about the people working behind the scenes of this organization caught my attention. The first one from Calmatters, among other subjects, talks about the volunteers who help make the group work. These include grad student Richard Lim, who was harrassed and called “Coronavirus” while walking near UC Berkeley, and decided to try and do something about it.
Stop AAPI Hate has published reports about how Asian American mental health is suffering during the pandemic. But what about the mental health of those tracking and recording the almost 7000 reported incidents? This article from the Mercury News talks about the toll that this work has taken. Co-founder Russell Jeung has started therapy for the first time and also turned to prayer. For others, like Angie Yellow Horse, processing these stories, while painful, can provide some benefit:
Having done it for some time now, I do realize there’s some value in reading those stories.I do think that I feel less alone or isolated with my own experience.
While Jeung and the other people at Stop AAPI Hate struggle to cope, the work of counting and recording racist incidents goes on. Over 2800 new reports came in during March 2021 alone.