As an increase in anti-Asian bigotry continues to sweep America, politicians and community advocates have called for action to combat a worrying spike in physical attacks and harassment.
At a press conference last week, Main Democrats in Congress condemned the increase and said much of the blame was on former President Donald Trumps’ racist rhetoric about the Chinese people and the coronavirus.
The Asian-American community has reached a tipping point, said Judy Chu, a California congresswoman who chairs the US Congress Asia-Pacific caucus. Members of the community have been terrified of the alarming rise in anti-Asian American bigotry, she said.
These attacks are no accident, said Chu. His clear January 6 was not the only violence instigated by Donald Trump.
The words Chus come amid a wave of violent incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the United States. Although it is difficult to prove that these violent incidents are motivated purely by sectarianism, activists and community leaders, as well as the victims and their families, believe that race played a major role.
Jessica Wong, front left, Jenny Chiang, center, and Sheila Vo, all of the Massachusetts Asian American Commission, condemn racism against Asian communities during the March 12 pandemic. Photography: Steven Senne / AP
Vicha Ratanapakdee, an 84-year-old Thai man who lived in San Francisco, died several weeks ago after being pushed to the ground. The victims’ family reportedly told KTVU that he was assaulted because of his race and age.
What else could have motivated him? Ratanapakdees’ son-in-law said of the assailant.
Across the bay, a man pushed three people into the Oaklands Chinatown neighborhood. The victims, a 91-year-old man, a 60-year-old man and a 55-year-old woman, were injured, according to CNN.
In the Flushing neighborhood of New York, a 52-year-old Chinese-American woman was assaulted on Tuesday outside a bakery. This woman questioned a man in front of her on the line, and he then became extremely angry, yelled and cursed at her, used his hand to touch her face and came face to face with her, prosecutors said. in court documents.
The daughter of the victims said on Facebook that he pushed her with such force that she hit her head against the concrete and passed out on the ground, according to NBC New York.
On the same day, two elderly Asian people were assaulted on the subway in separate incidents, the network said.
The man accused of being involved in the bakery incident was charged with third degree assault and second degree harassment. He has not been charged with a hate crime, according to the records.
Former President Bill Clinton has also spoken out against growing reports of anti-Asian attacks. I am deeply concerned about the increase in hate crimes targeting Asian Americans, he said on Twitter. We must speak out against discrimination of all kinds, reject the ignorant rhetoric that drives this wave of violence, and reach out to support our neighbors.
Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition that documents anti-Asian bigotry during the pandemic, said the organization received more than 2,808 first-hand accounts of anti-Asian hate from March 19 to December 31. These reports come from 47 states and the District of Columbia.
According to data from Stop AAPI Hates, physical assaults accounted for 8.7% of these incidents, while cough / sputum totaled 6.4%. Verbal harassment constituted 70.9% of these incidents; and avoidance or avoidance were 21.4%.
The figures of the police are also worrying. New York City Police Department records also show a worrying increase in anti-Asian hate crimes. In 2020, 29 victims in total were reported, including 24 as motivated by coronavirus. In 2019, there were only reports of three anti-Asian hate crimes recorded by the department.
From Jan. 1 to Feb. 17, based on the most recent data provided by the NYPD, authorities reported that there were two victims of anti-Asian hate crimes. During this same period of 2020, no victims of anti-Asian crimes were reported.
Karlin Chan, a volunteer for Chinatown Block Watch, patrols the New York neighborhood on May 17. Photograph: Jeenah Moon / Reuters
No area is truly immune. Its urban, rural background, Manjusha Kulkarni, executive director of the Asia-Pacific Policy and Planning Council, told The Guardian. Even when the country was largely sheltering in place, people were experiencing incidents in grocery stores, drug stores, big box retailers.
These were the only places we could go where they had to worry that someone might verbally attack them, physically assault them or deny them service because they were just trying to survive, Kulkarni said.
This is of greater concern to our elders and women. They appear to be preying on the elderly, said Karlin Chan, a community advocate in Chinatown Manhattans. These people are opportunists. They’re not going to take it out on a fit young man. This worries the community.
Chan said the community of Manhattans Chinatown has been fortunate to have experienced fewer incidents than Flushing. However, residents were rocked by several incidents last winter, before the pandemic hit New York City.
Right before the lockdown, Chinatown was very quiet, Chan said. These opportunists, or some racists, would harass people. On the Lower East Side, the streets were very quiet.
In response, Chan formed a watchdog block that walks around the neighborhood several times a week, just to assure neighbors and residents that there are people from the community and from outside the community who are concerned. .
Chu and other lawmakers attending the press conference, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, urged Congress to pass legislation that would provide federal grants to state and city governments to improve crime reporting bias and provide better support to victims.
Congresswoman Barbara Lee said everyone must work to end hatred and violence.
These tragic attacks are happening in communities across the country, Lee said. These attacks are simply unacceptable.
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