Anti-Asian hate crimes

Anti-Asian hate crimes

Story by Keara Chorn, Messenger Staff Writer

A surge of hate crimes against Asian Americans has become prevalent over the years, especially during the pandemic.

People of the Asian American community have been subjected to not just hate crimes but also hate incidents, such as discrimination, verbal and psychical harassment, and shunning. Not to mention that many are still facing xenophobic rhetorics and racists attacks all over social media. Most of these indirect attacks are not even considered hate crimes and often go unreported.

Crimes targeting those of Asian descent in the United States have been gradually rising since 2016. Now, recent data published by the FBI have shown these types of hate crimes have dramatically increased by 76%, especially in larger cities. 

These crimes are classified as racially motivated — meaning that the perpetrators have mentioned or show evident hatred against a particular group, however, in many incidents the perpetrators have made no declaration. Therefore, most of the time it is not exactly labeled a hate crime, but rather the victim happened to be of Asian descent.

Anti-Asian hate crimes’ major surge during the beginning of Covid-19 are mostly due to it being pandemic-fueled like the coronavirus being called the “China virus”. This wrongfully justifies xenophobia, which causes others to perceive and label Asian Americans as “foreigners”. 

In addition to the vast amount of hate speech on social media, the model minority stereotype is also another factor. The model minority is a harmful assumption that Asian Americans have high socioeconomic status and education and are “better” than other ethnic minorities. These false ideas mostly come from limited and flawed representation. This stereotype tends to obscure or disguise anti-Asian racism — implying that anti-racists programs are not needed.

There have been many more hate crimes ranging from microaggressions to assaults in the United States, particularly targeting women and the elderly. In the 2021 Atlanta spa shootings, eight people were killed including six Asian women. More recently, a man managed to attack seven Asian women in Manhattan within just two hours. Both of these incidents have alarmed and devastated the Asian American community whose fears have already been exacerbated by many factors.

Preventing Asian hate incidents can be done. There has been an executive order denouncing anti-Asian, Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders discrimination, however, anyone can show allyship and solidarity acts. It is also important to speak out for others when witnessing a hate incident, and most importantly reporting a hate crime or violent situation. Dramatic measures are not necessary, but by addressing and educating yourself and others on the topic of Asian racism can truly help lessen this issue.