Los Angeles County launches ‘United Against Hate Week’

Graphic courtesy of LA vs Hate

AMID rising hate crimes and other forms of discrimination experienced by communities like Asian American and Pacific Islanders, Los Angeles County has marked this week as the inaugural ‘United Against Hate Week.’

From November 30 to December 6, the LA vs Hate initiative is encouraging and supporting county residents to unite against, report and resist hate in all forms.

United Against Hate Week was born in 2017 as a poster project in response to white supremacist groups who were planning rallies in Berkeley. Since then, the week-long initiative has grown beyond posters and has spread to more than 60 communities across California.

By going to the county’s website (LAvshate.org) or by calling the 24-hour 211 line, LA County residents can report a hate incident, “which includes any act of verbal or physical aggression, refusal of service, bullying, or intimidation of any kind that is motivated by hostile prejudice.” They can also find a network of agencies to assist victims and develop prevention strategies, and get access to materials to promote the week of awareness and a lineup of special virtual events happening.

“We have a place now for anyone to report by calling 211 or by going to the website. We need to hear from people because unless we know about it, we can’t bring our resources to do something about it — to support you and to offer help to those who are experiencing hate,” Robin Toma, executive director of the LA County Commission on Human Relations (LACCHR), said during a press conference on Monday, Nov. 30.

The LA vs Hate coalition was launched over the summer by the LACCHR at the request of the Board of Supervisors, led by Supervisor Hilda Solis, to counter the troubling trend of increases in hate crimes and acts in the county.

Over 700 reports of hate have come through the county’s hotline since then, Toma said.

This initiative also comes at a time when the AAPI community, among other marginalized communities, has experienced an increased trend of discrimination, xenophobia and racism since the spread of the coronavirus and in light of social justice protests.

The United Against Hate Week from Nov. 30 to Dec. 6 amplifies the LA vs Hate initiative, which encourages Los Angeles County residents to be vigilant and report acts of hate through its website or by calling the 211 hotline. Graphic courtesy of LA vs Hate

“This is something we’re all dealing with, particularly the AAPI community, as it relates to the uptick in crime incidents that happened after the start of the coronavirus,” said Capri Maddox, executive director of the City of LA’s Department of Civil and Human Rights. “It’s important to know that all communities have been hit.”

The STOP AAPI Hate tracker — created by Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON), Chinese for Affirmative Action and San Francisco State University’s Asian American Studies — found that 832 incidents of COVID-19 related discrimination and harassment occurred in California alone during a three-month period.

“Regardless of which group they’re coming against…we all need to stand up against hate because hate anywhere is hate everywhere,” Maddox said. “And we are not going to tolerate hate in Los Angeles, and therefore I’m pleased to stand against hate. With this united partnership, and I really look forward to the work that we’re going to do this week.” (Christina M. Oriel / AJPress)

Christina M. Oriel

Christina M. Oriel is the Managing Editor of the Asian Journal. You can reach her at christina@asianjournalinc.com.

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