Asian-Americans and the rise in violence during a pandemic
March 10, 2021
Hate crimes against Asian-Americans have emerged since COVID-19 spread. COVID-19 was first discovered in China which led some people to believe that the Asian community was responsible for the spread. Discrimination and violence against Asians have increased since then and there has been a 150% increase in Asian-American hate crimes since March 2020.
On January 28, 2021, a Filipino-American was slashed in the face on the New York City subway. There would be people who were pushed, shoved, harassed, and physically and verbally attacked for “starting the pandemic.”
Asian-American discrimination go often overlooked and the attacks have fueled fear and rage in Asians. In 2020, there were over 3,000 hate crimes towards Asian-Americans from the Stop AAPI organization. Many crimes aren’t reported to the police due the distrust of the government.
On February 28, 2021, over 300 people joined New York’s elected officials and leaders to speak out against the rise of Asian-American violence and cities and the rest of the world. The Rise Up Against Asian Hate organized by the Asian American Federation made a rally to protest the hate in Manhattan where an Asian man was stabbed.
“I started hearing an increase of discrimination against Asians at the beginning of COVID, which I thought was ridiculous because the Asian community hasn’t done anything wrong. The people who were attacking the Asian community made me feel unsafe, since hate crimes can escalate very rapidly,” Sophomore Tamira Lanzon said.
Former President Donald Trump referred to the virus as the “Chinese virus” or “Kung flu” which exacerbated Anti-Asian xenophobia in the U.S.
“I think it’s stupid that Asian-Americans/Asians are getting hate/blamed for COVID-19 but I do think that we can’t just put aside the fact that the virus did come from China. If it is a joke though, like a friend blames me for COVID-19 as a joke, then I don’t care [about that] but when it goes too far, it is not okay,” Sophomore Grant Santos remarked.
The increase in Asian-American/Asian hate crimes makes the Asian community feel unprotected and unwelcome. People’s actions can have a toll on the community. Stop Asian Hate!