Asian Hate Crimes on The Rise in the Shadow of Covid Crisis

Jeremy Carcamo, Reporter

     Never would I have thought I could experience racism firsthand. Being in New York City this past Sunday, I was expecting a nice leisurely day in the city. Going down into the subways to traverse through the city, I unfortunately overheard someone making racist comments against Asians. To be honest, I did not know how to feel. I didn’t want to think it was real. I felt attacked because it was against my ethnicity and culture, and the feeling was one I did not want anyone else to feel. Sadly, this is the reality of today, insulting people because of their culture or where they come from. Recently, Asians have been an increasing target of hate due to the perceptions of the Coronavirus and the effect it has had on the world. 

      There have been news reports ranging from attacks on ederly Asian people walking down the street in broad daylight to shootings. On April 7, there was a mass shooting spree in Atlanta, with the targets being nail salons and massage parlors. Eight people were killed, 6 of them were Asian women. The suspect claimed that the crime was not racially motivated, but that has been met with widespread skepticism. 

     Morning Consult is an online data-collection and technology company. According to their data, “Hate crimes toward Asians in the United States increased 149% in 2020, from 49 crimes in 2019 to 122 incidents in 2021.” 

     Many Asian Americans believe that former President Donald Trump is at fault for the increase in Anti-Asian feelings. Morning Consult’s survey showed that 53% of the 1,000 Asian adults surveyed blame Trump for the rise. 

     Senior editor of Morning Consult, Joanne Piacenza stated, “Critics of the former commander in chief say Trump used this xenophobic framing in an attempt to shift blame of his own administrations’ handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.” Trump used the term “China Virus.” I believe this was to shift the blame from his own administration for the handling of the Coronavirus onto the Asian population, creating more “Anti Asian” feeling. 

     The incidents have been reported to the Stop AAPI Hate (Asian American and Pacific Islanders). This is a group formed by the Asian American Studies Department of San Francisco State University, which allows Asian Americans and or Pacific Islanders to report incidents that happen to them that are either racially motivated. 

     According to Amy Sherman, of the Poynter Institute, “Verbal harassment and shunning… made up the two largest proportions of the total incidents reported.” Chinese Americans are the largest group that reported experiencing hate with 42.2%. This seems to be the recurring incident when it comes to Asian Americans; they are being blamed for bringing COVID-19 to the United States.

     From here on out, I believe that there will be change for the better, but of course, there are those ignorant few that will not change. It will take a very long time to get where we need to be. With a sense of unity, this world can be a better place; uniting for the good is what this world needs to better itself.