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Letters from America
Anti-Asian Attacks an Ongoing Problem
By Greg Evans
Special Correspondent
Anti-Asian attacks becoming huge problems in the US

In the United States attacks on Asian people continues to be a problem. Police reports show that already in 2021 unprovoked attacks have increased around 150%. The spike in incidents stems from the outbreak of COVID-19 last year and has continued into 2021 and those are just the attacks that are reported. The majority of attacks have occurred in New York and California where the largest Asian population resides. Though across the nation from small towns to medium-size cities, out in the country or along the coastlines, the problem is prevalent and disturbing.

More than half of Asian-Americans live every day in fear of being attacked and many have experienced discrimination. The Pew Research center reported that the Asian population in the United States recorded the fastest growth rate of any ethnic and racial group between 2000 and 2019. And Asians have reported a significant increase in discrimination since the start of the pandemic.

A report issued by Stop AAPI Hate Forum determined that in the past year, more than 3,000 anti-Asian incidents have occurred and most of them have been against women. The same report lists 503 incidents that have happened in 2021. Discrimination makes up the largest number of incidents followed by physical assault. Multiple surveillance camera videos have surfaced this year showing violent attacks against Asian people and in multiple cases, it has been against the elderly.

In Atlanta recently six women were gunned down in a hate crime in a massage parlor simply because of their race. In Washington DC. a Filipino American woman and her boyfriend were screamed at, coughed on, and threatened with bodily harm. The most dangerous aspect of this is if the nation allows it to become a pattern. Lawmakers have voiced concern about the problem, but it seems very little is being done to quell the hatred.

In the eyes of criminals, women and the elderly are deemed easier targets. They live in fear just going to the grocery store unknowing if on that particular day they will come face to face with hatred and violence. In Portland, Oregon a person of Vietnamese descent found a note on her doorstep that read, “Kung Flu.” On the subway in New York, a 61-year old Filipino was sliced on the face with a box cutter. In Kansas, a member of the legislature was threatened in a bar accused of having covid.

This month the Senate voted to put through legislation that would address hate crimes against people of Asian descent. The bill is meant to expedite reviews of hate crimes particularly related to the pandemic. It also called for the distribution of grants for local and state governments to enhance their data collecting and reporting. The bill passed 94 to one and goes next to the house for review.

A large part of the problem is a lack of education and a fractured social infrastructure. It is up to the people, friends, co-workers, neighbors, and strangers to pull together and unite in combatting the hatred and stand up to those who are promulgating hatred and violence. Laws passed down in upper government can only do so much. It can be a foundation, but it comes down to people on the street doing their best to put an end to this problem.



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Greg Evans, associate director of communications of King University in Bristol TN, in the US, serves as a special correspondent for The Seoul Times. The seasoned journalist has been writing for such papers as the Mooresville Tribune, Lake Norman Citizen, the Bristol Herald Courier, and the Sentinel-Progress (Easley, SC). He can be reached at gaevans1@king.edu

 

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