Anti-Asian hate crime in 16 of America’s largest cities increased 149% in 2020 according to an analysis of official preliminary police data by the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, with the first spike occurring in March and April amidst a rise in COVID cases and negative stereotyping of Asians relating to the pandemic.
The analysis revealed that while hate crimes in 2020 decreased overall by 7 percent, those targeting Asian people rose by nearly 150 percent.
Jooyeon Song, Asian female founder of ManiMe, felt compelled to respond to this news with a heartfelt letter to her ManiMe community.
We share it here, with her permission:
As a Korean immigrant and founder of a California-based company, I wanted to share some feelings directly from my heart: sadness, frustration, and confusion. Like many, I’ve had a hard time processing the recent series of racist hate crimes against the Asian community.
It’s sad that I need to worry about my safety - having a genuine concern of being hit in the face - when walking around my hometown of Santa Monica. The idea that my mother can be attacked - simply because she is Asian - is beyond frustrating. I’m confused on how to plan a family after reading that hate crimes against Asians have increased by 1900% since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This past year has been painful for all of us. One of the cruelest functions of the pandemic is that it has forced us to keep physically distant from each other. However, this physical distance should not manifest into misplaced anger, hate, or fear. There is no reason for Asians to be considered as a threat nor should we have to explain our reason for simply being.
Now more than ever, we must stand against racism, refusing to justify or tolerate its existence.
I deeply care about the community I belong to. I’m very proud of the impact K-beauty has made on the global beauty industry and how it has led some of the biggest beauty trends of recent years. ManiMe is closely connected to Korea as we have established our R&D lab in Pangyo and consistently source key ingredients from Korean vendors.
ManiMe stands against racism. We will continue to use our platform to speak up against hate; actively be anti-racist; and push for greater diversity and inclusion in our workplace, the global beauty industry, and beyond. Together, we can support the Asian community and stop the hate.
With Love, Jooyeon Song
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