AAPI stands for Asian American Pacific Islander and describes individuals and groups that descend from a variety of Asian and Pacific Island nations.
Between 2020 and 2021, Anti-Asian hate crimes increased by 164%.
This increase in hate crimes – which range from verbal abuse to assault and worse – was majorly influenced by the anti-Asian sentiment that arose during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Historically, Asian Americans and those of Asian descent have been targeted in times of distress.
During World War II, thousands of Japanese Americans were forced into internment camps following the attack on Pearl Harbor.
In the later 19th century, growing anti-Asian sentiment would result in the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 which would limit the number of immigrants allowed into the country.
Locally, Bellingham was the site of one of the largest anti-Asian hate crimes of the 20th
century. In 1907, a mob of white men from the Asiatic Exclusion League attacked the homes of Sikh residents and dragged them through the streets, claiming the Sikhs were stealing jobs in the local canneries. These events would become known as the 1907 Bellingham Riots