Asian-American Hate Crimes - The Cause and the Solution
Updated: Apr 12, 2021
Over the past few weeks, reports of hate crimes against Asian Americans have spread like wildfire. This has manifested through the use of derogatory slurs, targeted attacks, stabbings, and even racially motivated gun violence. In an attempt to raise awareness about these frequent atrocities, Anti Asian-American Hate rallies have become increasingly more prevalent throughout the country. According to New York Times writers Nicole Hong and Jonah E. Bromwich, these rallies have “reflected the tortured public conversation over how to confront a rise in reports of violence against Asian-American.”
After the fatal shooting of eight people, six of which were of Asian descent, “that frustration erupted on a national scale” according to the New York Times. Asian-American Alice Yen says “I refuse to believe that such cruelty exists so widely in this country of diversity, and yet I cannot help but ask myself — why have there been so many hate crimes? (New York Times).
According to Time News, “Since the start of the pandemic last spring, Asian Americans have faced racist violence at a much higher rate than previous years.” In addition, “The NYPD reported that hate crimes motivated by anti-Asian sentiment jumped 1,900% in New York City in 2020.” Based on statistics such as this, many people feel that it is safe to conclude that the current pandemic is fueling this rise in Asian discrimination.
It is commonly noted that Trump’s use of racist terms for the pandemic such as “the China virus,” and “Kung-flu” have endorsed the false allegation that China is responsible for the virus. “In doing so, Trump followed in a long American history of using diseases to justify anti-Asian xenophobia,” notes TIME writer Cady Lang.
Besides pandemic-related motives, “Many Asian-Americans have been left wondering how much cultural stereotypes that cast them — especially women — as weak or submissive targets played a role,'' says Hong and Bromwich of The New York Times.
In response, “President Joe Biden signed an executive order denouncing anti-Asian discrimination shortly after taking office in January” (TIME). Whether or not this course of action has been effective is unclear, but Asian-American hate crimes are persisting.
On a less dismal note, TIME reports that “many community leaders have therefore taken a vocal stance on interracial solidarity.” Leaders have “turned to local organizations to show their support for the community during this painful time” by raising funds to aid Asian-led support organizations (TIME). Stop AAPI Hate co-founder Russell Jeung says “community efforts and solidarity are the only ways to curb racist attacks.”