Alarmed by anti-Asian incidents, LA County leaders seek to build fund to study hate

Faced with increasing racist incidents reported against Asian-Americans, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors approved an effort Tuesday, April 6, that could lead to a county fund that would support research into hate and xenophobia.

With the board’s unanimous vote, the L.A. County Equity and Diversity Fund — if ultimately found feasible by county human relations officials — would start with $1 million in county seed money. It would then look to tap into philanthropic partnerships to build that fund and tap local research institutions to better understand and address bias and racism against communities of color, including those in the Asian American Pacific Islander community.

During the pandemic, Asian-American have borne the brunt of actions ranging from verbal abuse to physical assaults because of their ethnicity.

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On March 23, the Board denounced the wave of hate against Asian Americans and decried the eruption of deadly gun violence  that killed eight peoplein a series of attacks on massage businesses in Atlanta on March 16.

An early March report by LAPD pointed to a 114 percent increase in hate crimes targeting Asians, from seven in 2019 to 15 last year. Civil rights groups say that number vastly under-counted hateful incidents, many of which weren’t reported to police.

County officials reported earlier this month that hate crimes had doubled against Asian residents. A report released by Stop AAPI Hate documented 3,795 incidents reported nationally to the organization between March 2020 and this February, and noted that the number represents “only a fraction of the number of hate incidents that actually occur.”

According to the report, the incidents included verbal harassment, physical assault, civil-rights violations such as workplace discrimination or refusal of service, and online harassment.

Manjusha Kulkarni, executive director of the Asian and Pacific Policy and Planning Council and co-founder, Stop AAPI Hate, said in March that 1,600 of those incidents were in California, and 360 of them in L.A. County.


Most, she said — 68% — are directed at Asian women.

“The escalation of attacks against AAPI Americans has been a heartbreaking reminder of how far we have to go toward building a society where everyone can feel safe, accepted, and equal,” said Supervisor Janice Hahn in a statement. “LA County’s Anti-Racism, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiative was a response to the racism targeted at the Black community, but this is a framework we need to use to help the AAPI community now.”

Local leaders and police in Los Angeles have implored anyone who witnesses a hateful attack on Asian Americans to report these incidents to law enforcement.

Department leaders will come back within 30 days on the feasibility of such a fund.

Tags: Health, News, Education, California, Government, Los Angeles, Atlanta, Sport, Soccer, Community, Hate Crime, Lapd, Board, LA County, Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, Pacific Islander, Janice Hahn, Top Stories LADN, Top Stories IVDB, Top Stories Breeze, Top Stories LBPT, Top Stories WDN, Top Stories SGVT, Top Stories PSN, Coronavirus, Manjusha Kulkarni, Pacific Policy and Planning Council, County Equity, Anti Racism Diversity and Inclusion Initiative


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