By Dr. Marquita Hockaday
For several months, numerous instances of racism, discrimination, and overall violence against the Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community has continued in America. These hate crimes include name-calling, shunning (such as refusal of service), workplace discrimination, and random assaults. Hate crimes against the AAPI community increased early in 2020 at the first signs of the coronavirus pandemic in America. Some politicians and activists have stated that hate crimes were exacerbated by former president Donald J. Trump and his strong language toward Chinese individuals and their role in spreading COVID-19.
AAPI individuals who have reported being victims of hate crimes have stated that they were spat on, coughed on, told to go back to their country, and personally blamed for spreading the pandemic. These individual violent crimes against the AAPI community came to head on March 16th, 2021 in Atlanta, GA. A gunman shot and killed eight victims at three different massage parlors, six of those victims were of AAPI descent. While some media reports have claimed this was hate crime and others have stated “it is too soon to tell” whether this is a hate crime or not (based on the shooter having a “fetish for AAPI women”), the sexualization of the six AAPI victims at the massage parlor is a form of racism. This is a demonstration of how society needs to educate themselves on implicit and explicit biases.
Unfortunately, this past year has seen a rise in xenophobic expressions (such as “China virus” for COVID-19), and violence towards the AAPI community, so much so that President Joe Biden signed an executive order right after taking office in January denouncing anti-Asian discrimination.
Shaffer Evaluation Group (SEG) follows the American Evaluation Association’s guiding principles, which addresses competence, integrity, respect for people, common good, and equity. SEG intends to uphold these principles, including honoring dignity, well-being, and self-worth of individuals, as well as acknowledging the influence of culture within and across groups. It is our goal as a company to hold ourselves and others accountable by revealing systems and structures of bias (both implicit and explicit) to stop xenophobia and racism and stand with the AAPI community. We are working toward a future where all people of color can feel safe in public spaces and are not prejudged based on their outward appearance.