Warning: The video is distressing
The rally and calls to end hate against the AAPI community members follow a string of attacks against the Asian community including the horrific Atlanta shooting that occurred on March 16, in which six of eight victims were Asian American. Since the shooting, at least five other attacks have occurred against Asian folks in New York State alone, including one that left a man in critical condition, Daily Kos reported.
Advocates, activists, and allies are coming together in efforts to spread awareness of the increasing number of anti-Asian hate crimes, in hopes of creating change. To date, no policy is in effect that prevents or addresses this issue, but members of Congress are currently discussing what action they can take.
According to data released by Stop AAPI Hate, almost 3,800 incidents of hate towards Asians were reported over the past year during the pandemic. The newly released data follows an analysis released by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism. According to the analysis, while hate crimes in the U.S.’s 16 largest cities decreased overall by 7% in 2020, those targeting AAPI people rose by nearly 150%.
The AAPI community is hurting due to already-present stigmas and misconceptions against Asians, in addition to the increased hate rhetoric encouraged by certain politicians. Since the start of the pandemic, use of xenophobic language to refer to the novel coronavirus has contributed to a rise in anti-Asian hate. Multiple reports examining the link between political rhetoric and anti-Asian bias found that discrimination against the Asian American community increased after the use of terms like “China virus,” “Kung Flu,” and other xenophobic terminology, Daily Kos reported.
Misconceptions on how the pandemic spread and where it began have contributed to violence across the country toward Asian individuals. While violence towards the AAPI community during a health crisis is not a new phenomenon, the extent to which the violence has escalated is.
Every day a new hate crime is reported to have occurred somewhere in the United States. To think of how many of these crimes are occurring and going unreported is alarming. Not only are elder community members facing violence, but children are being impacted by the spread of hate among their peers. We must do better as Americans and for our children. This hate must stop and we can no longer allow our “leaders” to influence another generation toward violence.
“Last year, one of my Asian students told me that in Chinese ‘Black Lives Matter’ means that their lives are brightly illuminated. And I want her to know: Your life is also brightly illuminated,” Tsui said. “I want our children and elders to know: You are worthy of safety, respect, and love. Our families should not need to live in fear.”
For resources on how you can help support the AAPI community, please visit this link.