Protesters Rally Against Anti-Asian Hate Across The Country

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Photo via wikimedia commons under creative commons license

A man protests at rally in Washington DC on March 27.

Ava Curtis, Staff Writer

Not only has the pandemic this past year impacted people’s health and safety, but it has also caused a rise in Anti-Asian hate crimes.

On March 16, eight people were killed in shootings at massage parlors in Atlanta, including six Asian women. The motivations of the suspect, who has been charged with murder, are still being investigated, but Asian communities around the country are on high alert due to an increase in violence against Asian-Americans in the last year.

There have been many protests throughout populated cities, mainly including Atlanta and New York, however, the number of hate crimes only seems to be rising. There were five more reported incidents of hate crimes within New York City. Recently, a 68-year-old Sri Lankan man was riding the subway in Lower Manhattan when he was punched in the head by another commuter who screamed a racial slur, left bloodied, and in critical condition. Only a few days later, three more attacks were reported, an Asian woman was thrown to the ground in Midtown, another was punched twice in the face after attending a rally in Union Square with her young daughter, and a third was struck in the face with a metal pipe on the Lower East Side.

This prejudice was believed to be fueled by President Donald J. Trump, who frequently used racist language like “Chinese virus” to refer to COVID-19. A study showed that his use of the term phrase increased the use of anti-Asian hashtags on Twitter. With more attention on the matter, Stop AAPI Hate found that since March 2020, roughly 3,800 incidents in which there was clear evidence of race-based hate have been reported.

New York City’s Mayor Bill de Blasio responded to the outburst in hate crimes and claimed that the city would increase the police presence in Asian communities and encouraged people to report crimes. On Twitter, more people have been opening up about their experience with the matter, including stories about how one’s child was treated, encounters with racist men, and more.

President Joe Biden has even stepped in and urged Congress to pass the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. In a speech at Emory University after the shootings, he asserted, “Hate can have no safe harbor in America. It must stop — and it’s on all of us together to make it stop.”