In this bloody Oct., 2023, Asian Media Access has observed all the discriminations and hates unfolded, with more than 3,700 people killed and more than 13,000 injured in Gaza. In Israel, 1,400 people have been killed and 3,500 have been wounded. Back home in the U.S., both Antisemitic and Anti-Muslim hate crimes are on the rise, and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland declared those incidents tied to Israel-Hamas war in the Gaza Strip.
Hate and discrimination have been longstanding issues in many parts of the world, and they have become particularly salient in recent years, many of our Asian American seniors have reflected back to the wars in homelands, and their fears of the Anti-Asian Hate crimes in this country.
It has been three and a half years since Asian Americans were first targeted with the divisive and harmful term “China Virus.” While the COVID-19 virus itself may have been tamed to some extent, the hatred and discrimination against Asian Americans continue to persist, casting a shadow over our community.
According to “Stop AAPI Hate,” more than 11,000 acts of hate against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have been reported to the hotline since March 2020 at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. The emergence of the term “China Virus” in the early days of the pandemic did more than just incorrectly assign blame; it stoked a climate of fear and prejudice against Asian American communities across the nation. This xenophobic rhetoric, coupled with the pandemic’s initial uncertainty, created a perfect storm that fueled bigotry and discrimination. Asian Americans became the unfortunate scapegoats for a global health crisis, leading to verbal abuse, physical assaults, and even death.
Asian Elders, in particular, have borne the brunt of these heinous acts, facing targeted violence at an alarming rate. The perceptions that older persons are physically and otherwise more vulnerable and that they are less likely to report or fight back are believed to contribute to the probability of their victimization. For example, in MN at May, 2020, an older Asian-American woman was standing alone at a light rail platform and was taunted by two teens. Then, she was kicked in the face by one of them before the teens turned and ran away. Later in Feb. 2023, a Hmong senior was shot by the police, regardless his age, limited English Proficiency and inability to move quickly.
The most-recent state crime report by MN Bureau of Criminal Apprehension came out in 2022 August and found that crimes covered by the hate crimes law rose with 238 reported incidents. Those incidents involved 271 victims and 181 offenders. The total reported in 2019 was 146. Of those 238 incidents in 2021, 40.3% were motivated by anti-Black or African American bias, the BCA reported, 10.5% were anti-gay, 8.8 percent were anti-white and 8.4% were anti-Jewish. The 16 reported incidents aimed at Asian Americans were 7% of the total. In 2019, there was one incident motivated by bias against Asian Americans.
The nationwide study was conducted by NORC (Univ. of Chicago) from November 30, 2022 – December 22, 2022. Online interviews were conducted in English, Chinese Traditional, Chinese Simplified, Vietnamese, and Korean with 1,203 Asian Americans and 128 Pacific Islanders aged 18 and older living cross the nation for a total sample of 1,331. Their Key Findings are:
- Nearly half (49%) of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders nationwide have experienced discrimination or unfair treatment that may be illegal.
- Discrimination negatively affects the mental health and well-being of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
- Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders know they have rights and want accountability for unlawful discrimination, yet few who experienced what they believed to be a civil rights violation report it.
- Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders want a better understanding of how to enforce their rights and want new laws to protect their civil rights.
Therefore, Asian Media Access is continuing our “Stop Anti Asian Hate” effort with the support from the Hennepin County to:
- Host “Stop Anti Asian Hate” Social Media Campaign, to continue the awareness building and how to report the crimes related to Anti Asian Hate.
- Host education sessions with students and seniors in Asian American communities, with tips to protect themselves during the unforeseen violence situations, along with resources to report the crimes, and seeking reparations.
- Join the state-wide effort with “Communities Combating Hate” movement to enhance protections for all Minnesotans with legislature efforts, as well as raising awareness and simplifying the reporting process.
The fight against Asian hate crimes is far from over. It is only through continued education, advocacy, and empathy that we can hope to create a future where diversity is celebrated and bigotry is a relic of the past. As we working to address anti-Asian hate, and we also recognize this is part of a broader effort to build solidarity among diverse communities and fight against all forms of discrimination. Promoting unity and understanding across different racial and ethnic groups benefits society as a whole.
Please join the movement while examining your biases, sharing our social media posts, and volunteering with AMA. FMI: firstname.lastname@example.org or 612-376-7715.