The pandemic has been difficult for many people across the world, but the Asian-American community has been hit hard with a different crisis: an alarming rise in hate crimes.
It has been an incredible hard time for Asian-American in America since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Hate crimes against the Asian-American community have risen since the start of the pandemic With the start of Lunar New Year a time meant for celebration has been dimmed by the fear of being the next target of racism in the cities they call home. Hate crimes have become incredibly prevalent, especially in big areas such as the Bay Area and New York City.
It has been reported by CBS News and Yahoo News that in New York City there was a 867 percent rise in Asian hate crime victims in 2020 compared to the year prior.
There have been many videos showing the violence against the Asian-American community. One of the most known videos released in early February shows a 91-year-old man being violently pushed to the ground in Oakland by a man who continues walking down the street as if nothing had happened. According to CBS News, it was only one of three attacks that occurred that day.
Many communities are frightened and more recently the eldery have been the victims.
The recent wave of violence has led to Alameda County’s district attorney’s office to set up a new division called Victim-Witness Assistance. This new division, “was the first of its kind in the state of California,” according to the Office of the Alameda County District Attorney.
According to the website, the division “provides a variety of services for crime victims, witnesses, and their families, as they work through the emotional trauma of their victimization.” For more information, visit www.alcoda.org/victim_witness/
At the start of his term President Joe Biden signed an executive order to help report anti-Asian crimes. He also condemned the recent violence in a brief.
“During the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, inflammatory and xenophobic rhetoric has put Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) persons, families, communities, and businesses at risk,” read the brief.
The brief further recognised the part the federal government and national leaders played in inciting the racism and violence against the Asian American community.
“The Federal Government must recognize that it has played a role in furthering these xenophobic sentiments through the actions of political leaders, including references to the COVID-19 pandemic by the geographic location of its origin. Such statements have stoked unfounded fears and perpetuated stigma about Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and have contributed to increasing rates of bullying, harassment, and hate crimes against AAPI persons.”
There are groups working to prevent the tide of hate crimes. One group located in Oakland includes Compassion in Oakland.
This particular organization gives people the option to volunteer to become chaperones to help the Asian elderly while they are walking through Oakland. Through the organization’s website those who want a chaperone can sign up to get one.
According to their website, they promote a safer Oakland. “We strive to provide the Oakland Chinatown Community with a resource for promoting safety and community. We aim to embrace the often forgotten, underserved, and vulnerable. We promote compassion not indifference, unity as opposed to divisiveness. Fostering a more caring and safer Oakland for all.”