Hate crimes against Asian-Americans in the US are escalating. Hate crimes pertain to crimes committed on the basis of a particular skin color, race, religion, national or ethnic origin, age or gender. One of such case is that of a 65-year old Filipina who was kicked in the head in New York. On the same day, a male Asian-American was found unconscious in the city’s subway. According to the New York police, hate crimes in the city rose from 2 to 28 in 2020. For the first few months of 2021 alone, it rose to 30.
Stop AAPI Hate, a non-governmental organization, recorded 3,800 hate incidents against Asian-American in 2020. One of the most recent is the shooting in three Asian-American businesses in Atlanta last March 17. Six, out of eight, shot were Asian-American women.
The real number of hate incidents is higher as most of these, like intimidation, cursing and discrimination, are not reported by Asian-Americans. Many hate crimes are also reported as ordinary crimes.
Many blame previous US president Donald Trump’s statements as the cause for the rise in Asian-American hate crimes. When the pandemic fist hit, Trump renamed Covid-19 as the “China virus,” “Wuhan virus” and even “Kung flu” which fanned the flames of the extant xenophobia of some sections of the American society against Asian-Americans.
Xenophobia against Asian-Americans is rooted in decades of discrimination in the health systemn against Asians, particularly the Chinese. Betweeen 1910-1940, the US outrightly banned the entry of Chinese workers into the US as they supposedly are carriers of diseases. This was compounded by the view that these foreign workers were “stealing” jobs in the country. In the following years, this was made worse by the myth that all Asian-Americans are “hard-working, meek at smart or good in maths” which make them serious competition in scoring limited jobs.
At present, there are around 20 million Asian-Americans in the US. The largest group are of Chinese descent, followed by Filipinos and Indians. Other groups are Vietnamese, Korean and Japanese.