The series of high-profile attacks against Asian Americans over the past several weeks has made national headlines, with public outcry, lawyers speaking out and President Joe Biden condemning. Then, on Tuesday, it escalated dramatically when a gunman killed eight people at a spa in suburban Atlanta, including six women of Asian descent.
As all Americans have faced the health challenges and economic concerns of the epidemic over the past year, Asian Americans have faced an additional challenge: a notorious rise of racist harassment, discrimination and violence.
[Read: Race, Sex and Sex Overlap on Stigmas in Atlanta Slayings]
The killings this week brought the issue of anti-Asian racism and barbarism to the forefront of the national discourse, and deepened grief, anger and fear for many in the Asian American and Pacific communities.
Asian Americans have spoken out and spoken out relentlessly against harassment and discrimination since the beginning of the epidemic.
“People are treating us emotionally,” said Russell Zheng, a professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University and co-founder of Stop API Het, a West Coast-based organization dedicated to tracking and dealing with hateful incidents against Asian Americans. Pacific Islands
Stop API Hate received 3,395 reports of heinous acts against Asian Americans from March 2020 to February this year, the agency detailed in a report released on Tuesday, just hours before Georgia’s assassination. Verbal harassment and avoidance incidents were reported in the two largest categories, while 11.1% – the third largest bucket – had reports of physical assault and violence. The group has received hundreds of reports of community members being severely or overwhelmed
“The stories are violent and emotionally traumatic,” Jeung noted, adding that the broader likelihood of hostile incidents is low. “Before the epidemic, don’t expect another adult to come and spit on you. That’s what angry and frightened people are. How many more Asians in America are they seeing us as foreigners, not including, seeing us during the shootings, shooting sexual things.” Will be “” done.
More than two-thirds of the abominations that stopped the API hate were directed at women of Asian descent.
Police say the gunmen in the murder denied that they were racially-motivated and instead said he was trying to “remove the temptation” of sex, experts and lawyers say the murder cuts apart racism and sexualism and cannot be divorced from the immutable phenomenon of marriage medicine. Asian women
The shootings, and the increase in anti-Asian harassment, discrimination and violence in the past year, have come amid public outcry and high-level government rhetoric. Former President Donald Trump repeatedly used xenophobic and racist language to describe the epidemic – a language that was then echoed by several Republican lawmakers and presidential supporters.
The details of the shooting cannot be ignored in the broader context even after it has yet to be published. The shootings came amid growing trauma of growing violence against Asian Americans across the country, with Asian Americans, driven by white supremacy and systematic racism, pushing for the advancement of justice – Atlanta said in a statement after the shootings. “While anti-Asian violence has been woven throughout our country’s history, the Trump administration’s relentless protests of Asians for the ongoing COVID-19 epidemic have increased the incidence of hatred and violence against Asian Americans across the country.”
The statement, Zheng said, “made a biological virus racist – it made it Chinese.”
“He stigmatized the people and made the Chinese carriers of the disease, which is spreading to the United States and has had deadly consequences.” He said the scandal happened against the backdrop of a long history of race-based bias that Asians brought in outsiders, he said.
Biden issued an executive order in January condemning anti-Asian racism during the epidemic. While the order does not name Trump, it condemns inflammatory rhetoric from government leaders.
“The federal government must recognize that it has played a role in fueling these xenophobic sentiments through the actions of political leaders, including the geographical location of the source of the COVID-19 epidemic. And the Pacific Islands and the AAPI have contributed to the rate of deprivation, harassment and heinous crimes against individuals, ”the order said.
Anti-Asian discrimination and harassment have been on the rise since the epidemic began. A Pew Research survey conducted in June last year, a few months before the epidemic in the United States, found that 39% of Asians reported uncomfortable behavior around them and 31% said they had been bullied or teased.
Another recent report depends on the severity of the issue. An analysis this month by the Center for Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, found that Asian anti-hate crimes reported to police increased by nearly 150% in 2020 in 11 of America’s largest cities. Hate crimes can be difficult to charge, and experts say focusing on the legal definition may obscure the actual amount of racially motivated attacks, but these results indicate a dramatic increase in hate violence against the Asian American community during the epidemic.
A series of violent attacks against Asian Americans took place a few weeks before Tuesday’s shooting.
In January, an elderly Thai American man was fatally assaulted while walking outside his home in San Francisco. In Oakland, California, a man brutally assaulted three elderly Asian Americans in Chintown. In late February, a 36-year-old man of Asian descent was stabbed to death in Chinatown, New York City. The victim was rushed to hospital in critical condition and the attack is being investigated as a potential heinous crime.
In addition to the voices of the Asian American community and allies, lawmakers, including members of Asian descent, spoke out against the attack. In a keynote address to the nation a year after the outbreak of the coronavirus, Biden strongly condemned the violence.