How To Reduce Anti-Asian Violence in SF

GrowSF Clubhouse series

How to reduce anti-Asian violence in SF

Meet Nancy Tung, Kamala Harris’ Assistant District Attorney, for a discussion on how we can reduce anti-Asian violence in San Francisco.

When: Wednesday, March 10, 12PM PT




Noted increase in Anti-Asian Violence

  • Noted there have been an increase in hate incidents over last year
  • Also an increase in bullying of young and old residents
  • There were 700 cases in Bay Area, and 200 in SF
  • COVID brought issues to the forefront, and Trump rhetoric exacerbated it - emboldening people
  • POCs have always been a scapegoat for problems, and this is why its happening now
  • 60% of reported cases of anti-asian hate relate to COVID

Historical Context for Anti-Asian Violence

  • There is systemic and historical racism with Asian Americans
  • Racism in our history - Chinese exclusion act; to the set up of Chinatown itself
  • But Asian Americans under-report bullying and harassment

Post Pandemic crime

  • Noted that these incidents may not stop after COVID
  • Wave of anti-asian violence has been around before, and these things become memetic
  • General negative opinion of china will perpetuate this too
  • Some positive steps with “Racial Liberalism” that FDR supported and now Biden is

Under Reporting of Incidents

  • Asian Americans under-eport for two reasons: cultural and distrust of police
  • Culturally, asian americans are ingrained to “not rock the boat” and “just take it”
  • Distrust of government and police stems from centuries of treatment
  • But also even if they file a police report, police dont arrive for hours

Lack of Engagement with Law Enforcement

  • Inability for Asian Americans to work with police / DA stems from language and cultural barriers
  • Have to go to DA office to follow through on crime, and cant take time off work
  • Older generation is reliant on children to translate, which is a barrier to reporting crime
  • Police does have apps to translate, but its missing human connection
  • Police need multi-lingual officers, with a personal touch

Solutions to Problem

  • Work with survivors today to build trust
  • Ensure bilingual officers are in Victim Support Units with Police
  • Increase support of police response in case of non-homicide cases; funding has been diverted primarily to homicide, so police dont show up for hours
  • Increase cultural language competence in DAs office
  • Have individuals from DAs office come to the victim, rather than the victim have to come into the office - difficult for older generation, taking off work
  • All legal forms are in English - have them in Mandarin too
  • Expand Court Watch program - volunteers who go to open court cases to show support for victims
  • Community Outreach programs by CYC - where they build relationships with merchants and residents
  • Refund the community outreach programs that were defunded by City government
  • Support Victims Fund - provide victims with assets to compensate for support

Black / Asian Relations

  • Noted historical tensions between groups, but also noted as overblown
  • Noted that the Black and Asian communities have collaborated from back to the Rainbow Coalition with the Black Panthers
  • Area for opportunity may be between older generation immigrant Asian Americans

How the Community Can Help

  • Simply get involved with your community and local politics
  • Continue the conversation, dont just talk about it when there are fires
  • Give back an hour a week, be a translator, be a court room advocate


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