Hate Crimes Against Asians and Its Impact


Since the Covid-19 pandemic started a little over a year ago, there has been a “150 percent” rise in hate crimes against the Asian-American community according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism. Although hate crimes in 2020 “decreased by 7 percent” because people were staying at home, the hate against Asians spiked. Even though the percentage is high, it only accounts for the reported cases. Many cases go unreported.

Stop Asian Hate https://stopaapihate.org/  is a California-based movement that was formed to help people report attacks against them or close people they know. Last month, there were shootings in Georgia, where a man opened fire at three massage parlors in Cherokee County and the city of Atlanta. Although the shooter claims he was not motivated by race “ the tragedy was clear” and primarily Asian women were targeted (NY Time). The man killed eight people and six of those eight were Asian women. Their names were Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim and Yong Ae Yue (USA Today). This tragedy and many more individual attacks on elderly Asians have sparked a movement in the U.S.

The recent events in the news are alarming and terrifying, but exposure to issues is the only way we can start to solve the problem. “Recently I’ve been trying to follow more Asian lead social media platforms,” said Mrs.Choy, admissions counselor here at Faith. Cady Fu, a sophomore exchange student said hate crimes against Asians, “is everywhere right now and especially on the news, where you always hear Asians being attacked or getting shot.”

These tragedies have left the AAPI community scared to leave their homes, primarily the elderly. Asian students and faculty at Faith Lutheran were asked about how safe they feel during these tough times. Faith has done an exceptional job in making its students and staff feel safe on campus. “Here at school especially because of our positive culture when it comes to supporting all different people,” said Mrs.Choy. She goes on to say that even in Las Vegas she feels safe because “In Vegas, we’re pretty lucky because we live in a pretty diverse town.” Cady said, “Luckily, I haven’t encountered discrimination personally since I arrived in the US, but I know some of my friends got made fun of because of their Asian looks.”

It was surprising to find out that students and faculty at Faith, or someone they know, have been harassed because of race. Mrs.Choy said that “some of her friends and family in San Francisco” have faced discrimination. It’s statistically proven that California has one of the highest Asian hate crime rates. The state with the second-highest hate crime rates is New York. Cady said she, “experienced people calling the “Year of the Rat” a plague last year.” Chinese New Year and Chinese Zodiac are very important to Chinese culture. Many Asian families celebrate the Chinese New Year by eating a big dinner together, getting rid of evil spirits of the old year and handing each other Li Xi (red envelopes) for good luck.

Many high schoolers use social media as their main platform to spread awareness. Mrs.Choy follows “more Asian lead social media platforms,” to better understand what is happening in society and educate herself. However, social media is the start of real change.

“I think it’s a good start but I think the real work has to happen with daily conversations and personal relationships. It’s one thing if you can just post on your Instagram story about what’s happening, but if you’re not actually talking to other people and not sharing your story and asking good questions, nothing is going to happen,” Choy said.

It’s important to talk about what is happening because awareness is the only way we can make a change. “It is more about the “physical action” people are taking, but I don’t believe protesting is the right way because it causes violence. I hope there could be more speeches which peacefully promote the problem,” Cady said. Peaceful speeches might be the only way people will listen to our stories.

“Asian is not a virus, racism is.” “My ethnicity does not equal a virus.” “We are AAPI. We are American.” Peaceful protesters from Seattle to New York have made their voices heard and it’s time we all listen. Many people appreciate products of Asian cultures such as anime and Asian food and drink.

We all must come together and treat people with kindness. If you know someone or hear of something racist here at Faith Lutheran you can report it on the Safe Voice app at http://safevoicenv.org/.