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Random assaults against Asian Americans in the U.S. are on the rise

Random assaults against Asian Americans in the U.S. are on the rise

Posted February. 23, 2021 07:34,   

Updated February. 23, 2021 07:34


A 52-year-old Chinese American was attacked by a white male outside a bakery in Queens, New York on Tuesday. She had to get five stitches on her forehead as a result of the assault. There was a total of three violent attacks against female Asian Americans in New York on the same day alone. At the end of January, an 84-year-old immigrant from Thailand was attacked by a young man in San Francisco, California, and died as a result of a severe head injury.

Random crimes against Asian-Americans are on the sharp rise recently, putting them in fear. It is believed that the recent attacks are not unrelated to the growing hostility against Asians, which was caused by the previous administration blaming China for the origination and spread of COVID-19. Former President Donald Trump also often called COVID-19 the “China virus.”

According to the Stop AAPI Hate, a civic group representing Asian Americans, the number of hate crimes against Asian Americans recorded 2,808 cases from March 19 to December 31 last year, 15.1 percent of which was against South Koreans. The verbal abuse accounted for 70.9 percent, followed by ignorance and avoidance (21.4 percent), physical violence (8.7 percent), and coughing and spitting (6.4 percent). Multiple answers were allowed.

As the situation is getting worse, the U.S. political circles are trying to come up with solutions quickly. “The Federal Government should combat racism, xenophobia, and intolerance against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and should work to ensure that all members of AAPI communities — no matter their background, the language they speak, or their religious beliefs — are treated with dignity and equity,” the memorandum signed by President Joe Biden on January 26 reads. “I’m deeply concerned about the rise in hate crimes targeting Asian Americans,” former President Bill Clinton wrote on Friday. “We must speak out against discrimination of all kinds, reject the ignorant rhetoric driving this wave of violence, and reach out to support our neighbors,” he added.

The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) whose members include South Korean-American Representatives Andy Kim and Marilyn Strickland and Chinese-American Representative Judy Chu announced a plan to hold a hearing on hate crimes during a virtual press conference on Friday, saying that xenophobia and racial discrimination should be rejected and voiced against. “I am concerned about white supremacy. Hate crimes against Asians should stop,” the speaker of U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi said during the press conference on the day.

Jae-Dong Yu jarrett@donga.com