‘Stop The Blame’ campaign from Stop AAPI Hate and Chinese for Affirmative Action will mobilize support against anti-Asian political rhetoric and discriminatory legislation ahead of 2024 presidential election
NATIONWIDE – Stop AAPI Hate and Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) today launched a new grassroots advocacy campaign titled ‘Stop The Blame’, which aims to highlight the growing danger of anti-Asian scapegoating in American politics. The campaign will mobilize Asian American, immigrant, and allied communities to hold accountable the growing number of political leaders who are reacting to escalating tensions between the U.S. and Chinese governments with anti-Asian political rhetoric, warrantless and discriminatory surveillance measures, and unconstitutional land ownership ban proposals across dozens of states.
“The alarming rise of anti-Asian political rhetoric and discriminatory legislation is fueling racism and hate against not just Chinese immigrants but also Asian Americans more broadly. Asian people who call the U.S. home are being scapegoated for geopolitical issues we have nothing to do with, and we’re caught in the crossfire at a time when we’re still dealing with COVID-19-related racism as well,” said Cynthia Choi, Co-Founder of Stop AAPI Hate and Co-Executive Director of Chinese for Affirmative Action. “Anti-Asian scapegoating is an affront to our shared American values of equal rights and opportunity for all. There’s a fine line between addressing legitimate national security threats and fear mongering to score political points. As we witness more political leaders cross the line at the expense of our safety and our rights, we’re sounding the alarms and mobilizing people to hold them accountable.”
As part of the ‘Stop The Blame’ campaign launch, Stop AAPI Hate and CAA debuted a microsite designed to educate and mobilize people, including the groups’ hundreds of thousands of online supporters. In line with research that shows racially-motivated hate increases during presidential elections, the campaign will ramp up throughout the 2024 general election cycle, organizing and executing nationwide efforts to:
- Hold leaders publicly accountable for racist anti-Asian political rhetoric, with a focus on monitoring high-profile 2024 election debates and campaign stops and publicly calling out candidates who use harmful rhetoric. Research shows a strong connection between anti-Asian political rhetoric and anti-Asian hate in the U.S. For example, in the week after former President Donald Trump first used the phrase “Chinese virus” online in March 2020, Twitter hashtags expressing anti-Asian sentiment increased by 174 times.
- Oppose unconstitutional land ownership bans targeting Chinese and other immigrants. In 2023 alone, lawmakers federally and in at least 33 states have introduced more than 80 discriminatory land ownership ban bills that fuel racial profiling of innocent Asian Americans and immigrants. An increasing number of legislation applies to not just the Chinese Communist Party, but also everyday Chinese immigrants who have done nothing wrong.
- Urge Congress to reform the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) to address harms on Asian American communities. Section 702 of FISA allows the government to acquire the communications of non-Americans located outside of the United States without a warrant. But as currently written and interpreted, it enables unfettered, warrantless, and discriminatory surveillance that encroaches on the privacy of everyday Americans in the U.S. and abroad — including innocent South Asian, Muslim, and Chinese Americans.
- Educate the public on the harms of anti-Asian scapegoating via videos and other original content highlighting both historical events and present-day stories of impacted individuals. There is a centuries-long history of anti-Asian scapegoating in the U.S. Asian Americans and immigrants have been repeatedly blamed for economic, public health, and national security issues simply based on their race, ethnicity, or ancestry — from the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, to the incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII, to the discrimination of Muslim and Sikh Americans post-9/11.
“The wave of land ownership bans gaining traction today is sickeningly reminiscent of the Alien Land Laws that discriminated against Asian people in the 1800s and 1900s and contributed to a rise in anti-Asian hate that included the systematic burning of Chinatowns, racial massacres, and the incarceration of Japanese Americans,” said CAPAC Chair Rep. Judy Chu (CA-28). “History plainly shows us how high the stakes are today. While there are specific, legitimate threats that some foreign governments and their state-owned enterprises pose to our national security, our elected leaders must not inflate or mischaracterize threats to justify anti-Asian racism and discrimination. I welcome the launch of the Stop The Blame campaign to mobilize people power, fight back against these discriminatory measures, and address the broader trends of anti-Asian scapegoating.”
“Florida’s unconstitutional land law is already preventing many Chinese immigrants from buying homes there and fueling broader discrimination against people of Asian descent in the housing market,” said ACLU Staff Attorney Ashley Gorski, whose organization is an ally in the fight against discriminatory land ownership bans. “It’s critical that we stop similar anti-immigrant bills from passing in state legislatures and in Congress. These discriminatory laws must remain firmly in the past.”
Stop The Blame builds on the growing momentum of grassroots efforts to stop anti-Asian scapegoating, including ongoing state-level organizing to defeat unconstitutional land ownership bans sweeping the nation.
“Thousands of community members — including many Asians and Asian Americans — mobilized this year to successfully defeat SB 147 in Texas, a discriminatory land ownership bill that threatened to fan the flames of anti-Asian racism,” said Texas Rep. Gene Wu (D-Houston). “This victory illustrates the power of the growing grassroots opposition to these racist and unconstitutional policies. As an increasing number of states advance harmful legislation that scapegoats Asian immigrant communities, I’m grateful that the Stop the Blame campaign will continue to build on our success in Texas and help expand the momentum nationwide.”
For updates and information regarding the campaign, visit www.stoptheblame.org
About Stop AAPI Hate
Stop AAPI Hate is a national coalition addressing racism, discrimination and other forms of bigotry impacting Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the U.S. The coalition was founded by AAPI Equity Alliance, Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) and San Francisco State University’s Asian American Studies Department in March 2020. To learn more, visit stopaapihate.org.
About Chinese for Affirmative Action
Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) was founded in 1969 to protect the civil and political rights of Chinese Americans and to advance multiracial democracy in the United States. Today, CAA is a progressive voice in and on behalf of the broader Asian American and Pacific Islander community. We advocate for systemic change that protects immigrant rights, promotes language diversity, and remedies racial and social injustice. To learn more, visit caasf.org.