There has been a spike in hate crimes targeting Asian-Americans, especially Asian women.
The Manhattan DA’s office has 27 open hate crime cases related to anti-Asian hate crimes.
Across the US, anti-AAPI hate crime was up 339% last year.
Last August, Stop AAPI Hate, a coalition that tracks and responds to racially motivated hate crimes, said more than 9,000 anti-Asian incidents had been reported since March 2020, when the coronavirus pandemic spread to the US from China.
New York City has seen an alarming rise in violence against Asian Americans. Four have died.
They were: GuiYing Ma, 62, who was attacked by a man with a rock in Queens; Yao Pan Ma, 61, who was attacked while collecting cans in East Harlem; Michelle Go, 40, who was pushed on to subway tracks at Times Square; and Christina Yuna Lee, 35, who was stabbed 40 times in her Chinatown apartment.
Prejudice against Asians, especially East Asians, has a long history in the US but the pandemic has exacerbated the situation because of irresponsible rhetoric, led especially by Donald Trump, that singled out China as responsible for the pandemic. He encouraged the use of terms like “China Virus,” “Wuhan Virus,” or “Kung Flu” to describe covid-19 and some people seem to be taking ‘revenge’ on the Asian community.
In addition to violence against Asians, sometimes murderous, other forms of discrimination also occur.
The Asian American-Pacific Islander Equity Alliance, a nonprofit based in California, has collected reports of 10,370 “hate incidents” from March 2020 through September 2021. The categories of those incidents include verbal harassment, refusal of service at a business and online abuse, as well as assaults and property damage.
Our data found that before 2020, the average number of Asian Americans killed or injured in anti-Asian attacks was just over eight per year. In 2020 and 2021, however, 49 were physically harmed, an average of almost 25 per year.
We found that almost half of the anti-Asian attacks in 2020 and 2021 were motivated, at least partially, by anger and animosity associated with COVID-19, a disease first identified in Asia. For instance, in June 2020, an Asian restaurant in New Jersey was vandalized with graffiti reading “coronavirus” and “COVID-19.” And in February 2021, Denny Kim, a 27-year-old Korean American veteran of the U.S. Air Force, was beaten by two men who shouted anti-Asian slurs at him and called him “Chinese virus.”
Race-baiting is abominable but when the president of a country indulges in it, it gives license to all the haters out there that they are justified in taking out their venom on innocent people.