Anti-Asian racism is surging, but most of instances don't involve violent attacks or make the news
Violent attacks against elderly Asian Americans in New York, San Francisco, and Oakland have captured national attention and brought new focus to anti-Asian racism.
The 150% surge anti-Asian hate crimes has been attributed to sentiment fueled by the coronavirus and Donald Trump's flagrant "China virus" and "kung flu" comments.
But anti-Asian racism is not new, and most anti-Asian racism does not take the form of obvious violent attacks.
70% of the incidents reported to Stop AAPI Hate have been “heinous” and “despicable” but not necessarily illegal, according to co-founder Cynthia Choi. Representative Ro Khanna wondered, "What does it mean to face harassment, racial epithets, aggression…that may not rise to the level of a crime but that do infringe equal citizenship and make people feel as outsiders.”
Anti-Asian racism can occur in the workplace, on the street or in the supermarket, and in other aspects of everyday life
Charlie Garwood, who identifies as Korean American, said a bar in his home of Medford, Oregon posted a large sign in January that listed “China virus” hours, as reported by PBS.
Kiwi Wongpeng was at a traffic light in suburban Cleveland when a man pulled up beside her and motioned for her to roll down the window.“Get out of my country — that’s an order!” he shouted from his pickup. He then added, “I’ll kill you,” as reported by the LA Times.
Tandem's founder, Elise, who identifies as Asian American, notes her own experiences and observations of anti-Asian sentiment, including hearing a colleague at her first job say he didn't want to hire Asian women because he didn't "feel a connection with them."
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