According to a new study from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, it was reported that hate crimes against Asian people in 16 nations are up 164% since last year. Many experts believe the reason for the high increase in Asian hate crimes is because of Covid-19, which is sometimes mentioned as originating in China. The rise in violent attacks on Asians during the pandemic has become a big threat and concern for them.
Recently, shocking news reports have made people focus on Asian hate crimes. On March 16, mass shootings at three Atlanta-area spas lead to the deaths of six Asian women. In another incident, an Asian man walking with his son was punched in the head and back multiple times in San Francisco. Several Asian American house owners said they have been abused with racial slurs and have had rocks thrown at their houses. These are just some of the examples of recent violent attacks on Asian Americans. The advocacy group ‘Stop AAPI Hate’ stated it received more than 2,800 reports of hate incidents directed at Asian Americans nationwide last year.
So, what are the reasons for these hate crimes? In order for an act of violence to be legally classified as a hate crime, the assailant needs to mention or signal that they are committing this crime in the name of hatred for that group. However, not all of the recent incidents that have happened worldwide met this definition. The reasons for the crimes are unclear, but many experts think that the COVID-19 pandemic is a big reason. They believe that social media posts linking the pandemic to Asians and containing hate speech related to Asians has caused the increase of Asian hate crimes. Former president Trump repeatedly referring to COVID-19 as the “China virus” has strengthened the association of Asians and the virus in the minds of some people.
Many people are working hard to help stop Asian hate crimes. Many Asian American celebrities are using their SNS platforms to bring awareness to the incidents. Also, many political leaders have given speeches related to Asian hate crimes to increase awareness and promote positive actions. Continuous awareness related to racism should be a focus on news reports, and people should keep focusing on these incidents to show their support. This is a global issue that requires everyone to contribute.