Why Hate? Generate Love! 爱
How amazing is it to finally see businesses reopening?
Finally seeing to those long awaited haircuts, rooftop brunches or heading for those gains at the gym and all while doing so in alignment with the sunshine… Just what we’ve been waiting for right? - Life is good… (Or is it?)
One year ago, as the coronavirus surged across the country, the western world was placed under its first wave of lockdowns. Headlines worldwide claimed the virus originated in Wuhan, (China) and former US president, Donald Trump described China as the “nation which unleashed this plague unto the world” and repeatedly elevated a “China virus” rhetoric. Although the prejudices cannot solely be placed on this, such volatile language being used, particularly by such a public figure-head, has influenced an undercurrent of animosity and anger in some people, which perpetuates itself into hate speech (both on and offline) and violence.
An analysis released by the Centre for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino revealed that the United States experienced almost a 150% increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in 2020.
It was clear at the presidency transition that associations with such behaviour were to be eradicated and at the Inauguration of President Joe Biden a prime example of inspiration for hope and change came in the form of the resounding delivery of, The Hill We Climb, from poet laureate Amanda Gorman.
"We close the divide because we know to put our future first.
We must first put our differences aside, we lay down our arms, so we can reach out our arms to one and other.
We seek harm to none and harmony for all..."
- Amanda Gorman reading, The Hill We Climb.
Unfortunately this is a pattern that is also occurring in other places around the globe. The UK’s East and Southeast Asian communities have seen a 300% increase in hate crimes, according to advocacy group, End the Virus of Racism. Chinatowns across the UK were boycotted, restaurants were vandalised, and in the ugliest of moments people have been assaulted on the street!
“I’m very worried… You’ve got a whole generation of Asian kids who are going to feel alone and more uncomfortable in their own skin. The racism is going to knock their confidence, their love for themselves and appreciation of their culture. This must have been what Muslims felt like after 9/11”
- Daniel Ly, 28, Consultant.
At the peak of violence in the U.S, last month we saw 8 people killed in the Atlanta Spa Shootings, 6 of who were of Asian descent. This devastating event ignited persistent protesting by AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) along with their allies who are standing up against these acts of racism and bigotry, whilst acknowledging wider concerns towards all ethnic minorities.
"Our approach recognizes that in order to effectively address anti-Asian racism we must work to end all forms of structural racism leveled at Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color." - Stop AAPI Hate.
To raise awareness and reaffirm the idea that Asians belong, there are a strong number of unity campaigns that have been launched such as, "I Am An American" from Civil Rights Activist and Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, Amanda Nguyễn, Contemporary street artist, activist, and founder of OBEY, Shepard Fairey and non-profit Design Lab, Amplifier Art.
"There is an old adage, 'you can't be what you can't see.' Now more than ever the AAPI community needs to be seen. To combat the perpetual foreigner stereotype, which describes the xenophobia and isolation many AAPI's are facing in this country, we are making a stand to uplift AAPI's within art because seeing is believing. Representation matters. Visibility matters. I Am An American!" - Amplifier via Instagram.
As individuals and also united as a business, those of us at NU-London lead life with a vision of togetherness. We are a multicultural, pro-equality, pro-justice, pro-love collective, basing human connection around all that we do. Therefore we were especially motivated and honoured to have the opportunity to help design and be a part of another important and incredible project, "Generate Love" launched by Asian American Poet Karina Hsieh.
Fully supporting the #StopAsianHate movement that raises awareness of the violence against Asians, Karina launched “Generate Love” a t-shirt campaign to join the conversation and bring people together in support of the Asian American community in these heart-breaking times. Believing that bystander intervention training is the most effective and hands on approach to help and promote safety it was decided that 100% of profits go to Hollaback! an incredible non-profit organisation, running free bystander intervention trainings and other effective means to end harassment in the world.
"We are one heart, one people. Thus, our shirts revolve around the themes: "One heart"
(一心) and Love (爱), the everlasting bond that connects us all (∞). In these difficult times, we must remember that we are one. Humankind. We are both. Human. Kind. Let's Generate Love. Karina" Although this last year has inspired some truly magnificent moments and taught us the value of togetherness and loving wholly, it has also highlighted the continuous fight against racial injustice regardless of the community.
We are all human, collectively we have gone through an unimagined time and unified we must aim to create a future that is better than it was before.
For further information and to join the movement, visit: www.generatelove.us
For more campaigns, visit:
www.ihollaback.org Amanda Nguyễn
#GenerateLove #StopAsianHate #HumanConnectionMatters #EndTheVirusOfRacism #BystanderIntervention #SocialJustice #Togetherness #SpreadLove #SaferWorldForAll