North Texas Daily

We need to actively condemn crimes against Asian Americans

We need to actively condemn crimes against Asian Americans

We need to actively condemn crimes against Asian Americans
March 18
10:00 2021

Over the course of the pandemic, hate crimes as a whole have risen, and hate crimes aimed towards Asian Americans have increased by approximately 150 percent, according to a research study done by Cal State Bernadino.

Large cities such as Los Angeles and New York have seen an increase in racially motivated attacks against elderly Asian Americans, specifically in their respective Chinatowns. While the recent attacks are seeing coverage beyond social media, hate crimes against Asian Americans have yet to be acknowledged on a federal level. Denouncing xenophobic language is not enough and racism has to be actively condemned.

The rise in attacks can be attributed to the pandemic and its origination in Wuhan, China. Then former President Donald Trump called the COVID-19 virus the “Wuhan virus” or the “Kung flu.” A survey done by the Pew Institute reported that negative views of China have hit an all-time high for the first time in 20 years.

Many of the victims of these attacks have been elderly. Some of the recently reported attacks include an 84-year-old Thai immigrant who died after being shoved to the ground, an 89-year-old Chinese woman who was slapped and set on fire by two people in Brooklyn and an 83-year-old woman robbed on the subway as she was going home. Many of the crimes against the elderly have consisted of assault and robbery.

Stop AAPI Hate, a social organization that tracks incidents of discrimination or hate towards Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States, has received 126 reports of incidents involving people over the age of 60 accounting for approximately seven percent of all racially charged attacks. Between the months of March and December 2020, ‘Stop AAPI’ had received 2,808 reports of incidents of racism and discrimination across the country.

On Mar. 11, President Joe Biden condemned the attacks in his first national address stating. “At this very moment, so many of them, our fellow Americans, are on the front lines of this pandemic trying to save lives and still — still are forced to live in fear for their lives just walking down streets in America,” he said. “It’s wrong, it’s un-American, and it must stop.”

In January, Biden signed an executive action banning federal employees from using “inflammatory or xenophobic” language. However, Asian American representatives and leaders have called for a more urgent response to the attacks.

The social media movement called #StopAsianHate has circulated the internet and served as a call to action among Asian artists and activists. Actor Daniel Dae Kim offered a 25 thousand dollar reward for information regarding an assault of a 91-year-old man in Oakland’s Chinatown.

It is important that lawmakers and national media acknowledge what is happening in the U.S. and pass the appropriate legislation that ensures the safety of Asian Americans. We live in a time where people are actively committing to becoming anti-racist. Age old traditions and institutions are being challenged and it is important that Asian Americans are included in that narrative as well.

Featured Illustration by Olivia Varnell

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Meghana Vadlamani

Meghana Vadlamani

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