Libby Chen said if she ever becomes a victim of Asian hate, she would think twice about calling 911 because English is not her first language.
“Sometimes for me, it will be hard for me to explain everything,” Chen said.
Boram Kim said the language barrier is just one of several reasons why Asian seniors rarely speak up and why these hate incidents are underreported in this community.
“The incidents themselves continue to occur on a daily basis," Kim said. "They don’t think it’s significant. They don’t think it’s worth focusing on."
That’s why Kim is trying to change this narrative. He’s with the National Asian Pacific Center on Aging and said they are launching an on-line reporting form this weekend. We got a sneak peak at how it works.
“The more data we get the more we will be able to break it down,” Kim said.
Seniors can anonymously report a hate incident on this portal, all the data will be collected, then shared with the public real-time through a map showing where all of this is happening. Kim said he’s hoping this data will lead to new laws that will help the Asian community.
“The more voices we have, the more attention it draws to the issue," Kim said. "And with our population and our community growing at the fastest rate in the united states, we need to take advantage of the political process and have our voices heard."
Just a few months ago, President Joe Biden signed into law a new bill to counter the spike in anti-Asian hate crimes. NAPCA was one of the groups that helped make this happen. Joshua Lam said he’s ready to help him mom and other seniors speak up.
“Because if you don’t speak nobody will,” Lam said.
NPACA said it will continue to work closely with area nursing homes and senior centers on this initiative. So far this year, 30 hate crime cases have been reported in King County. Six of those victims were of Asian descent.