Choi also said that many Asian Amerians are not reporting all of the racist behavior they are experiencing. Therefore, the approximately 1,000 hate crimes reported through the tool (alluded to in the AACC’s statement) are fewer than the actual number of incidents taking place. Choi also expressed concern about the lasting impact this racism will have on the Asian American community: “We have yet to understand the full extent of what it will mean to come out on the other side [of the virus]. We don’t think that the anti-Asian sentiment that we’re seeing now is going to go away, and we’re going to need to address that as a society.”
The number of these incidents is only expected to increase. According to ABC News, the FBI recently released an intelligence report to local law enforcement agencies across the country, warning against a coming spike in hate crimes against the Asian American community: “The FBI assesses hate crime incidents against Asian Americans likely will surge across the United States, due to the spread of coronavirus disease…The FBI makes this assessment based on the assumption that a portion of the US public will associate COVID-19 with China and Asian American populations.”
Churches Can Stand with the Asian American Community
Chang says he hopes that pastors will be willing to address anti-Asian sentiments, and AACC’s statement ends with several calls-to-action for church leaders and Christians. These include requests for greater education and awareness about this issue, mental health resources for Asian Americans, and accountability for elected officials.
The statement closes by saying, “We believe in the redemptive power of the gospel as the only way for true reconciliation to fully occur, between God and humanity and across racial and social lines. May the name of Jesus be glorified as we, his collective body, pursue truth, justice, restoration, and unity.”