By Kyle To
Since the pandemic, microaggressions and hate crimes towards Asian Americans have seen a major spike. A report from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism shows that Anti-Asian hate crimes have increased 150% in New York City and Los Angeles. In Orange County, these hate crimes have increased by 1,200%. In 2020, NYC had 28 Anti-Asian hate crimes, and LA had 15. Seattle had 12, and San Francisco had 9.
Many violent hate crimes have been committed, such as 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee, who was shoved to the ground during his morning walk in San Francisco. He died two days later, and the 19-year-old murderer is pleading not guilty. Or, Yik Oi Huang, an 88-year-old Asian grandmother who was attacked across from her Visitacion Valley home. Or Noel Quintana, a 61-year-old man who was slashed in the face on his way to work. Many more hate crimes have been committed recently, but this is just to name a few. Many of the hate crimes are being committed against elders who can’t fight back and defend themselves. These hate crimes are getting worse day by day.
Karthick Ramakrishnan, director of demographic data, said that former President Donald Trump calling the virus “Kung flu” or “China Virus” played a part in fostering hate towards Asians in an interview with NBC. Trump repeatedly blamed China for the COVID-19 pandemic with his xenophobic remarks. “[Trump] weaponized it, in a way,” Ramakrishnan said in the same interview. Recently, President Biden has been calling out these hate crimes and said Asians are being “attacked, harassed, blamed, and scapegoated.” Turning to local organizations can be a way to help and show support for Asian-Americans and victims. The Asian Pacific Environmental Network has joined forces with the Anti Police Terror Project to recommend people show their support by visiting their local Chinatowns or showing solidarity in their own way. Another organization, Stop AAPI hate, says community efforts and solidarity is the only way to stop these attacks. Many racial peace rallies are being held to organize strolls and give elders a sense of security. Working together is the only way to resolve these issues.