The data was compiled by Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition that led the way in collecting data on racially motivated attacks related to the pandemic. According to the organization, people of AAPI ancestry have been targeted and treated as scapegoats only because of their race since the coronavirus was first reported in China.
“Our data clearly shows that Asian Americans continue to be attacked across the country and that the hate incidents that we have been following since March 2020 are not going away,” said Manjusha Kulkarni, co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate and executive director of the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council it in a press release.
Legislators, activists and community groups have consistently resisted the wave of attacks, but that doesn’t detract from their origins. Prior to President Joe Biden’s tenure, there was no legislation to combat these crimes. In addition, Donald Trump’s administration consistently fueled the fire of hatred with xenophobic terminology.
As president, Trump repeatedly blamed China for the pandemic, which fueled the anti-Asian sentiment that already existed in some communities. Its spread of COVID-19 misinformation and its use of xenophobic language such as “Chinese Virus”, “Wuhan Virus” and “Kung Flu” have been linked to a rapid rise in hate crimes across the country. Because security measures in place forced people to stay home, people took out their frustration on the AAPI community who blamed them for the virus, according to a report Daily Kos.
“When you encourage hatred, it’s not like a genie that you can pull out and push back in whenever you want,” said Kulkarni The Associated Press. “There is too much to perpetuate these belief systems to make them go away.”
Kulkarni told the Associated Press that several factors contributed to the data, from an increase in incidents to a greater desire to report. She noted that coverage often picks up after a high profile incident like the March 16 spa shootings in the Atlanta area that killed six Asian women.
“We saw some incidents there that had happened weeks or months earlier, but either they didn’t know about our reporting office or didn’t take the time to report,” said Kulkarni.
While physical attacks have increased, they are not the only way these anti-Asian incidents played out. Verbal harassment and the deliberate avoidance of people who identify as part of the AAPI community make up the majority of hate incidents, according to the report. Physical assault and coughing or spitting on are the second most common forms of hatred, according to the report. Most of the reported victims are Women and the elderly.
In a recent incident, an Asian American woman was attacked near her home. The woman, who lives in San Francisco’s Pacific Heights neighborhood, said she no longer feels safe and added, “I don’t know where to be honest.”
In the terrible incident on August 1, the woman was left with bruises and abrasions on her face, arms and legs after being robbed and then bitten by her attackers. ABC7 news reported. The attack comes amid an increase in anti-Asian incidents in California. Accordingly a report released by the state Justice Department, hate crimes against Asian Americans in California increased by over 100% in 2020.
(WARNING: The following Twitter thread contains violent graphics, photos, and language that may not be suitable for all readers.)
⚠️: 𝗚𝗥𝗔𝗣𝗛𝗜𝗖 𝗖𝗢𝗡𝗧𝗘𝗡𝗧:
This woman was attacked for her iPhone, her hand closed in a car window, dragged a half block, and bitten by one of her attackers in Pacific Heights 2 /
I spoke to the woman who only wants to be identified as “V” (1/4) #aapi
– Dion Lim (@DionLimTV) August 7, 2021
The report follows similar reports of an increase in hate, including hate crime data from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University-San Bernardino. This report found that hate crimes against Asian Americans rose in at least 15 cities in 2020. Daily Kos reported. When the cities were further scrutinized, reports showed that crimes against Asian Americans rose 169% compared to Q1 2020 to Q1 2021.
The AAPI community needs our support now more than ever, whether it be to screen our family and friends, to raise awareness of misunderstandings about COVID-19, or to contact members of Congress to do more against anti-Asian hatred. Check out this guide to resources and ways to support the AAPI community and our Asian friends. Hate is the real virus and we have to end it.