Where Is the Outcry?

Asian Hate crimes rise

Marchers+call+for+a+stop+of+Asian+hate+crimes+in+the+country.+March+21%2C+2021.

Becker1999 from Grove City, fair use, via Wikimedia Commons

Marchers call for a stop of Asian hate crimes in the country. March 21, 2021.

Jessica Walton, Contributor

As we go through another year of the pandemic, we also see another year of an increase in hate crimes against Asian people. In the past year, reported hate crimes against Asian people has increased by 164%, according to the Report to the Nation 2020.  

In early 2020, there were many nights of protests for the Black Lives Matter movement after George Floyd was killed by a police officer.

Now, with Asian crimes happening seemingly every day in the United States, where is the awareness for them?

Back in March, a man in New York City attacked an Asian woman of Filipino descent and told her she “didn’t belong here” while the people on the streets just watched, making no move to help her. 

Just a few weeks ago in early May, two Asian women, one of them 84-years-old, were stabbed by a man in broad daylight in one of the busiest areas of San Francisco, as reported by the New York Times

Pullquote Photo

Now, over a year after the pandemic started and the hate crimes have worsened, it is time to use our voices.”

— Jessica Walton

This increase in attacks can be linked to the start of COVID-19. When in started in China back in late 2019 and then began traveling, some people started calling it the “China Virus.”

Even the former president of the United States Donald Trump called it that.  When a person with as much influence as the president of the United States starts using a term like that, supporters pick it up.

When Trump told people the pandemic was China’s fault, they listened to him. They started to blame Chinese people. They even stopped going to Chinese restaurants, making a lot of them lose money at the start of the pandemic. 

Most of these people who were being hated on had lived in the US their whole lives. They had never even been to Asia, and still they were being blamed for something no one could control. 

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) have been the victims of rising hate crimes since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Signs like this remind people that spreading hate is as deadly as the virus. (Jessica Walton)

And while a 164% increase in hate crimes against Asians seems like a lot, the number is actually a lot bigger than that. Many Asian hate crimes go unreported for many reasons like distrust in law enforcement, language barriers, and immigration status.

Susan Corke, Director of the “Intelligence Project” at the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) said, “Hate crimes are vastly underreported, most of the vulnerable communities do not feel safe reporting it to the police. That is a national emergency.”  

Now, over a year after the pandemic started and the hate crimes have worsened, it is time to use our voices. We cannot be like the people of New York City who only watched while an innocent woman was beaten just for being Asian.

It is time for us to speak loudly for the people who cannot. It is time to stop the hate crimes against innocent people.

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