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Self Evident: Asian America's Stories

Sep 29, 2020

The rise in xenophobic harassment, discrimination, and violence against Asian Americans during the pandemic has led to a rise in neighborhood watch groups in historic Chinatowns and other Asian immigrant communities across the country.

While these groups have made headlines for speaking out against racism, their motivations and actions reveal a deeper story about the pain of underserved communities and the role of policing in those communities.

In this second of three episodes on community responses to anti-Asian racism during the pandemic, we report on three neighborhood watch groups in historic Chinatown neighborhoods: the Manhattan Chinatown Blockwatch, the SF Peace Collective, and the United Peace Corps. The diverging approaches that they take reveal how much American communities rely on a “law-and-order” definition of safety.