Sharp increase in anti-Asian incidents in US during the pandemic
FILE PHOTO: Chris Chan (R) of Asian American Action Fund Georgia Chapter hand out “Stop Asian Hate” flags outside a campaign rally of Democratic mayoral candidate Andrew Yang June 13, 2021 in New York, New York. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
A NEW report has revealed that more than 9,000 anti-Asian incidents have been reported across the US since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, The Guardian reported.
Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition that tracks racially motivated hate crimes towards Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, received 9,081 reports between 19 March 2020 and June this year, the report added.
A total of 4,548 hate crimes occurred in 2020 and another 4,533 occurred in 2021 including harassment, shunning, and physical assault, the coalition said.
According to the report, members of Asian American and Pacific Islander communities across the US have faced bigotry in the form of verbal harassment and physical attacks soon after Covid-19 was first reported in China.
Of the total incidents reported, 63.7 per cent involved verbal harassment and 16.5 per cent involved shunning – the deliberate avoidance of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. About 13.7 per cent of the reports were of physical assault and Civil rights violations accounted for 11 per cent of the incidents while online harassment made up 8.3 per cent, the coalition report said.
Incidents reported by women made up 63.3 per cent of all reports.
Besides, the number of seniors (60 years or more) reporting hate crimes increased from 6.5 per cent in 2020 to 7.2 per cent in 2021.
Manjusha Kulkarni, co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate and executive director of the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, told The Guardian: “When you encourage hate, it’s not like a genie in a bottle where you can pull it out and push it back in whenever you want. There’s too much perpetuating these belief systems to make them go away.”
The surge in reporting happened after the 16 March Atlanta spa shootings that left eight people dead, including six Asian women.
In May, Joe Biden signed the Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act, expediting the justice department’s review of hate crimes and making grants available to help local law enforcement agencies improve their investigation, identification and reporting of racially charged incidents.
Stop AAPI Hate praised the bill but criticised its focus on law enforcement over community-led reform.