Within the last year words like “Chinese Hoax” and “Chinese Flu/ Virus” being thrown around to describe the COVID-19 pandemic by Donald J. Trump there is no surprise that we have been seeing a rise in Anti-Asian Hate Crimes. According to NBC News (Yam, 2021) from 2019-2020, there has been an overall decrease in crime but there has been a 150% increase in crimes against Asian- Americans, mostly the targeting of Asian- American elders. For anyone who has very little knowledge of Eastern customs understand that elders within the Asian community be it Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, etc. elders within the community are held in very high regard. Although people of color are no stranger to violent crimes being committed against them, the long history of crimes against Asian – American and African- Americans have many similarities.
On the morning of March 26, 2021, 21-year-old, Robert Aaron Long, opened fire on 3 different spas that killed 8, 6 of which were Asian- American women throughout the Atlanta metro area. His victims included Delaina Yaun, 33, of Acworth, Paul Michels, 54, of Atlanta, Xiaojie tan, 49, of Kennesaw, and Daoyou Feng, 44, According to Long, it was not a “hate” crime and was backed by local law enforcement by stating Mr. Long had a bad day. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit the world, it was something that we were obviously not prepared for, globally it has left millions unemployed, underemployed and above all else desperate for some form of relief. With former President Trump and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as well as other GOP law makers weaponizing the virus by referring to it as the “Chinese Virus” or the “Wuhan Virus” they have helped assist in reversing decades long violence against Asian- Americans.
President Biden has denounced crimes against ‘Asian- Americans, who have been attacked, harassed, blamed and scapegoated”. Hate crimes against Asian- Americans has also hit home for the White House with Madam Vice President Kamala Harris being the first Afro-Asian American to hold office. During a time where everyone has a phone with a camera attached to it, various surveillance cameras line most major city streets, and racial tensions at an all-time high. Asian- Americans much like African- Americans get very minimal coverage in the news for these kinds of events. The public outcry lasts for a few weeks and then we are back to business as usual until the accused steps foot into a courtroom. We as a country, as well as their loved ones must relive the tragic events, minimal if any justice is served, and then we do it all over again a few months or years later. Although Asian- Americans and African- Americans have a complicated history with each other, it is important that we note the injustices and similarities of how hate crimes are being seen and treated by law enforcement and the media. The attacks show more than ever that people of color are not the enemies of each other but more so that we have a mutual enemy against white supremacy. No matter a person’s ethnicity, profession (victims where rumored to be sex workers) and with more and more Asians being uncomfortable to be on their own, especially elders we must focus on what makes us similar, not our differences.
Yam, K. (2021) Anti- Asian Hate Crimes Increased by Nearly 150% in 2020, mostly in N.Y. and L.A., New Report Says. https://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/anti-asian-hate-crimes-increased-nearly-150-2020-mostly-n-n1260264