Arts & Culture News

March 26 Was the Official 'Stop Asian Hate Day' in Dallas. What Did That Mean?

Protestors gathered downtown to condemn Asian hate.
Protestors gathered downtown to condemn Asian hate. Gowa Borzigin
The COVID-19 outbreak erupted into more than one type of pandemic, as violence against Asian Americans rose and the coronavirus became an excuse for open racism and xenophobia. Now, businesses, colleges and organizations in Dallas are starting to pay attention.

Following a slew of nationwide acts of violence against Asian Americans, Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson officially declared March 26 as Stop Asian Hate Day. But what exactly did that mean for the Asian American community?

Social media users may have united in an effort to show solidarity with the cause, but the posts and hashtags — unsurprisingly — have had little effect in protecting the Asian community. Though reported instances of violence against Asian Americans are rare in Dallas, Texas ranks fourth among states in anti-Asian acts of discrimination and violence. (Texas is the second-most-populous state.)

The University of Texas at Dallas is offering support and resources to Asian students as well as hosting virtual conversations through its Multicultural Center and Gender Center. One upcoming discussion, Comets Cultural Conversations, will tackle Asian American history and systemic racism in Dallas.

Some local companies and organizations — such as Detour Donuts and Coffee in Frisco, which also happens to be Asian-owned — are fundraising and donating to Asian advocacy groups. Owner Jinny Cho donated the money from her deliciously controversial “#StopAsianHateDonuts” to the AAPI Community Fund GoFundMe.

“In 4 days, we sold $2936 worth of #stopasianhate donuts!” Cho wrote in a Facebook post.

Times like these call for outspoken doughnuts and Cho didn’t stop there. She wanted to match the donations of her patrons as well to show she meant business.

“I understand it is unconventional for a doughnut shop or a business to speak up on any issues really — ask me if I care about what is conventional and what is not,” Cho says. “I’m matching donations to make sure my actions are speaking as loud as my words.”

“I’m matching donations to make sure my actions are speaking as loud as my words.” – Detour Donuts owner Jinny Cho

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Nonprofit and volunteer organizations are doing their part to reach out to local Asian communities. 24HourDallas, a nonprofit organization geared toward helping Dallas' nightlife economy prosper, is promoting Asian-owned businesses through its social media accounts.

Each post comes with a statement, on a red background, that reads: “We can do more than #StopAsianHate. We can also support Asian-owned businesses that participate in Dallas’ nighttime economy. Like this one.”

North Texas Giving Day partnered with Communities Foundation of Texas and directed supporters to Asian American Pacific Islander organizations where they could donate or get involved.

“We must acknowledge that these events did not happen in isolation,” managing director George Tang said in a statement. “These actions have been tolerated or ignored by far too many, even as documented reports of anti-Asian hate incidents have risen by 150% nationwide in the past year.”
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Raven Jordan is a music and culture intern for the Dallas Observer. At the University of North Texas, Jordan wrote for the arts and culture section of the North Texas Daily student paper. She enjoys writing about race and social justice, pop culture and local events.