“Two recent studies found that online animosity and offline hate incidents against Asian Americans heightened after Trump linked China and COVID-19 in his tweets; another study found that Trump’s framing of the pandemic as China’s fault increased anti-Asian sentiments and xenophobia in survey experiments; and there’s evidence, too, that rank-and-file Republicans have become much more hostile toward China during the pandemic — views that experts warn pose a threat to all Asian Americans.”
“Over the past year, anti-Asian incidents have surged across the country: There have been more than 2,800 since last spring, according to Stop AAPI Hate, which has been tracking people’s reports. Ranging from verbal abuse and workplace discrimination to storefront vandalism and physical violence, many of these assaults have been fueled by xenophobic sentiment that seeks to scapegoat Asian Americans for the spread of the coronavirus, given its origins in China.”
“Kulkarni emphasizes that Trump’s rhetoric had a clear effect in stoking xenophobia and fueling these attacks, many of which fed off longstanding tropes about Asian Americans as perpetual foreigners who can never be fully American. “We would often see increased violence or hate and discrimination when the president would make remarks. We saw that was having direct impact on the perpetrators,” she said, regarding the Stop AAPI Hate tracker. Additionally, the association of Asian Americans with the coronavirus activated age-old stereotypes that have associated immigrants of Asian descent with “weird” foods, dirtiness, and illness.
Anti-Asian attacks in the past year have been wide-ranging. According to the Stop AAPI Hate tracker, they’ve included an Asian American child getting pushed off her bike by a bystander at a park, a family at a grocery store getting spat on and accused of being responsible for the coronavirus, and vandalism outside businesses. Then there is the death of Ratanapakdee in San Francisco this past month: Members of his family told KTVU that they believe the attack on him was racially motivated.
In a recent executive action, President Joe Biden condemned anti-Asian racism, marking a stark change from the Trump administration. He’s also instructed the Justice Department to begin gathering data on these attacks and to strip discriminatory language from federal documents. But it is going to take more than one message denouncing such acts to maintain this dialogue and ensure that members of these communities get the funding and legal backing they need.”
“According to the New York Police Department, reports of hate crimes against Jews in that city rose 26 percent last year, from 186 in 2018 to 234 in 2019, after rising nearly as much (23 percent) in the previous year. According to Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, the 2019 total was the highest seen in New York City since the FBI began reporting hate crime data in 1992.
Nationwide, however, the FBI’s tally indicates that the number of anti-Jewish criminal incidents (each of which may include more than one offense) fell from 938 in 2017 to 835 in 2018—an 11 percent drop. The total in 2018, the most recent year for which national data are available, was lower than the totals in 21 out of the previous 26 years.”