While I’m always skeptical to be wary of performative activism (i.e. reposting Instagram posts to your stories to showcase your support), supporting Asian American-owned brands by spending your money on their pieces a solid way to show — rather than showcase — your support for an issue, minority community, and in this case, the Asian American Pacific Islander community, even if it’s by wearing an AAPI t-shirt.
If you’ve been following the news over the course of the year, you’re probably as equally ashamed and horrified by the recent surge in Anti-Asian hate crimes — not to mention the anti-Asian rhetoric in general, which is absolutely not a new issue by any means, but this prejudiced discourse was seemingly amplified under the Trump administration and during the pandemic.
I’m not going to lie — I was initially pretty reluctant to write this piece when one of my editors suggested it, just because I was fearful that it would come across as tone-deaf or that I was trying to commodify a systemic issue that is pretty f*cking grave — and certainly isn’t going to come to an end if all of us wear t-shirts to offer our support.
With that being said, making a financial contribution or donation to an Anti-Asian Hate organization is putting your money where your mouth is, and frankly, is probably the best way to show your support. Obviously, this is in addition to being actively anti-racist and 100 percent intolerant of hate acts and speech aimed at Asian Americans — or any group of people, frankly. And yes, sometimes that means having awkward conversations with friends and peers, but it has to be done.
Now that that’s all out of the way, if do want to invest in a statement t-shirt that proudly displays your alliance with the Asian American community and zero-tolerance policy to racist discourse, offensive slurs, and of course, hate crimes, we’ve rounded up a few t-shirts to check out below. And, if you can, always try to buy from an AAPI-owned brand or a brand that actively donates to Anti-AAPI-Hate non-profits.
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I Am Proud AAPI Languages T-Shirt
Showcase your pride in your culture and heritage with this t-shirt that features the word “Asian” in a variety of different languages. 80 percent of the proceeds will go to the AAPI Community Fund.
The Good Partco Stop Asian Hate Unisex T-Shirt
Featuring the colors of the Philipino flag, 100 percent of the proceeds of sales for this t-shirt will be donated to a different few Anti-Asian hate charities.
BrightAgape Anti-Asian Hate T-Shirt
This subtle tee features a small phrase that reads “Stop Asian Hate” and 100 percent of the profits from sales go directly to AAJC.
Stop Asian Hate T-Shirt
Not only does this purchasing this t-shirt support independent AAPI artists, but 80 percent of the proceeds of sales are donated to The AAPI Community Fund.
Haerfest “Nothing Changes If Nothing Changes T-Shirt
This subtle Anti-Asian hate tee is a less in-your-face approach to showing off your support through apparel. As a bonus, 100 percent of the proceeds from the first production run will go to the organization Stop AAPI Hate.
Stop Asian Hate T-Shirt
This colorful, pop-art style graphic tee delivers a bolder message.
The Great Cyclops Stop Asian Hate T-Shirt
This powerful graphic tee’s design symbolizes a unity that we should be striving for each and every day.
Racism Is a Virus AAPI T-Shirt
100 percent true — despite a certain president’s toxic rhetoric.
I Stand With The Asian American Community
Say it loud and clear with a bold statement t-shirt.
Asians Support Black Lives T-Shirt
A visual reminder that we’re strong together.