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How Indianapolis is supporting the Asian American Pacific Islander Community

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Posted at 12:03 AM, Apr 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-13 00:06:50-04

INDIANAPOLIS — On Monday, the Indianapolis City-County Council passed a Special Resolution, condemning all forms of racist harassment, violence, or bias against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Community. Councillor Crista Carlino and Councillor Keith Potts introduced the resolution and shared why they felt it was important to do so in the statement below.

MORE: Asian American Hoosiers speak out against violence

"Every resident of Indianapolis shares a common aspiration for the health and safety of ourselves and our loved ones, something that our collective experience of the past year has made very clear. In this moment, when so many of our Asian American and Pacific Islander neighbors have faced harassment, discrimination, and even violence, we want Indianapolis to be a community where our A-A-P-I neighbors feel safe, welcomed, and celebrated."

This show of support of is very important to people like Mia Nunokawa. She moved to the United States from Japan at the age of 12. Now in her early 20s, Nunokawa said she's had to deal with a lot of degrading, racist comments.

"I'd often get told that I'm beautiful for an Asian. People have asked me can I see or if I can breathe," Nunokawa said. "No matter how those comments were meant, Nunokawa said those comments are racist."

What's even more hurtful for her is the reaction she sometimes gets when telling people about these incidents.

"I think first and most is trusting when people say they feel discriminated. I've often shared my story of rude things people said and they often take side of the person who said those things especially if they aren't a person of color," Nunokawa said. "It's really scary to say something back to someone who's said something super racist to you because you know that person doesn't already like you."

This is where allies can help and just be bystanders. It's something Rupal Thanawala, Asian American Alliance, Inc.'s President, encourages. "Don't be a bystander. Not speaking or doing anything is actually supporting the person who's misbehaving."

Thanawala applauds the Indianapolis City-County Council for passing the resolution condemning discrimination and violence against the AAPI Community but now, she said it's time for those in power at all levels to do their part.

"All the leaders, speak up. Lead by example, setting upright policies and procedures because it's not just about Asians. It's about this disease we are trying to fix called racism," Thanawala said.

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