ASIAN AMERICAN VIOLENCE

There is escalating violence toward Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States.  A study by the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, found that:

“Anti-Asian hate crime in 16 of America’s largest cities increased 149 percent in 2020 according to an analysis of official preliminary police data…with the first spike occurring in March and April amidst a rise in Covid cases and negative stereotyping of Asians relating to the pandemic.”

One Asian American woman from Marietta, Georgia told Stop AAPI Hate — a group comprised of the Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council, Chinese for Affirmative Action, and the Asian American Studies Department of San Francisco State University that tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States — that she “was in line at the pharmacy when a woman approached me and sprayed Lysol all over me.  She was yelling out, ‘You’re the infection.  Go home.  We don’t want you here.’  I was in shock and cried and left the building.  No one came to my help.”

The group also revealed that, out of the 3,795 incidents reported to them between March 2020 and the end of February 2021, “verbal harassment (68.1 percent) and shunning (20.5 percent) (i.e., the deliberate avoidance of Asian Americans) make up the two largest proportions of the total incidents reported; physical assault (11.1 percent) comprises the third largest category of the total incidents; civil rights violations — e.g., workplace discrimination, refusal of service, and being barred from transportation — account for 8.5 percent of the total incidents; and online harassment makes up 6.8 percent of the total incidents.”

This is outrageous and cannot be tolerated. There are hate laws already on the books in 49 states and territories. We need to take advantage of these laws to their absolute limits.  We also need to require states collect data on these crimes.  Currently, 18 states that have hate crime laws do not require data collection.  This is fundamental to our understanding how widespread this problem is and will help provide a roadmap for potential solutions.

 

Evidence:

1. Editorial Board.  “The Surge Of Attacks Against Asian Americans Requires Attention And Swift Solutions.”  Washington Post.  12 Mar 2021

2. “Anti-Asian Hate Crime Reported To Police In American’s Largest Cities: 2020.”  Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism. 

3. Russell Jeung Ph.D., Aggie Yellow Horse, Ph.D., Tara Popovic, and Richard Lim.  “Stop AAPI Hate National Report.”  Stop AAPI Hate.  3/19/20 – 2/28/2021

4. Maria Morava and Saba Hamedy.  “49 States And Territories Have Hate Crime Laws – But They Vary.”  17 Mar 2021

5. Spencer Bokat-Lindell. “Are Hate Crime Laws Really The Answer To Anti-Asian Violence.”  New York Times. 23 Mar 2021