Hate crimes against Asian Americans bring national attention

#stopasianhate has been trending online in response to the increase of hate crimes committed against ethnically Asian people in America.

A recent social and traditional media trend has brought attention to hate crimes and discrimination against Asian Americans.  Since the start of COVID-19 pandemic, there has been an increase in hate crimes against the Asian population.  Because the virus started in China, there is a flawed belief that the Asian community is to blame for the virus spread. There were a total of 42 hate crimes in just the first four months of 2021, and that is not counting the unreported cases. These crimes have been happening since the end of 2019, but did not receive national attention until 2021. 

One of the stories that received national attention was of the Asian-American hate crimes were the eight Asian-American victims from the March 16 mass shooting in Atlanta, Georgia. The shooter targeted three spas that were staffed predominantly with Asian employees. There was immediate media uproar after an Atlanta official characterized the shooter as having a “bad day” instead of identifying the shooting as a hate crime.

According to the Center of the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State University San Bernardino, hate crimes towards Asian-American in sixteen of the nation’s largest cities and counties are up 164% since last year.  Many hate crimes against Asian-Americans often go unreported.  This situation echoes the BLACK LIVES MATTER/BLM movement that has grown over the past six years. 

New York has seen a sharp increase in Asian-American hate crimes, overall.  One story that opened people’s eyes was on a seemingly random attack in which a woman and teen were attacked in Brooklyn, New York for being Asian-American. While waiting for the subway, the woman was pushed and attacked; she suffered from minor injuries. The teen was attacked and had to be admitted to the hospital for treatment.

In reaction to the uptick in crimes, there has been protests and social media campaigns.  There were protests in Boston, Massachusetts; Chicago, Illinois; Austin, Texas and other states as well.  Mayors and President Biden spoke about this situation as well as social media taking action, people are using their platform to share information and they are using a hashtag called #stopasianhate.