Hate Crimes Against Asians Have Been Rising

Grae Stockhausen

The Coronavirus– the thing that ruined 2020, a year that had so much potential –originated in Wuhan, China. That fact seems to be the reason for the increase in hate crimes against the Asian race. Attacks against Asians spiked when COVID made its way across the world. For example, there were 122 reported attacks in the most populous U.S. cities in 2020. 

During a pandemic that called for our country to work together more than ever, leadership across the country faltered, and the American population was ripped apart. Former President Trump started it all, referring to the virus as the “kung flu” and “the Chinese virus” in his tweets and daily press briefings.  This language caused many Americans to believe that China, and in many eyes, people of Asian descent, were at fault for the virus.  Thus, attacks against the Asian community started after the president’s tweets appropriated the racist actions, and some took his word literally, as many began to follow suit, assaulting and harassing Asians, as well as Asian Americans. 

     One of the more tragic events from all of this happened a couple of weeks ago in Atlanta.  On March 16th, in Atlanta, Georgia, a spa shooting killed eight people, six of the eight being Asian women. While the gunman blamed it on his addiction, police still haven’t ruled out the potential of a racially motivated crime. Many attacks like these have spread across the U.S., leaving the Asian community frightened. In fact, Asian hate crimes have increased over 150% in the United States alone since the start of 2020, coincidentally around the same time the Coronavirus landed in our country.

Many of those committing these hate crimes don’t even care if the person is Thai, Japanese, Chinese, or Korean. They are specifically targeting people of Asian ethnicity. In San Francisco, a man threatened an Asian woman more than once in a bakery. The man has been arrested for three counts of criminal threats, two counts of burglary, stalking, three hate crime enhancements, and a probation violation.  It’s charges and justice systems like this that will help our country to someday reach a point where hate like this isn’t so widespread.

Even after the Coronavirus ends, the attacks will continue. These videos and articles incite fear and outrage in Asian-populated people and their communities. There has been an increase in Asian’s who are afraid to even leave their home, and not just because of the virus.  Everyone around this country needs to do a better job in taking accountability for their words, tweets, and actions, as well as taking it upon themselves to treat people right.