Recently, in the United States, there have been many acts of violence, and especially violence against those in the Asian community. These actions and events are not new to those within the Asian community or those who are POC (people of color), but ever since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and the term “Asian virus” or “Chinese Virus” coined by President Trump, violence against those in the Asian community has drastically increased within the United States. Within the past year, there has been about/around 3,800 anti-Asian hate crimes within the US, and they were mostly against women, 68 percent of the reported crimes were against women and 29 percent reported were against men. There has been an alarming spike in Asian hate crimes and in New York City, Queens where Asian hate crimes was only about 3 a year from 2019, in 2020 there was 28 reported victims that were the result of hate crimes. There have been many Asian owned businesses that have been forced to shut down due to the fact that others within the community are too afraid and deterred to interact with Asian individuals with a fear that they will contract COVID and get sick.
The most recent tragic experience to have happened was the mass shooting in Atlanta, Georgia, which claimed the lives of 8 victims, 6 of which were Asian women, who worked within Asian massage spas. The shooter stated that these women represented something that was tempting in his life and he was trying to completely remove those, and for the first few days there were no mentions of racial motivations, but he stated that the women were part of fantasies of his “sexual addiction.” The shootings took place in three different spas, in three separate locations and was fortunately caught while he was on his way to his fourth location in Florida. Although, no one could confirm if those where his true intentions, the majority of the victims were Asian women, and it comes off as a racial hate motivation.
The mass shooting that occurred in Atlanta just served as a tipping point for a lot of those who are in the Asian community, as they have been targeted over the last year, so close to 200 individuals took to the streets on the night of March 15 in Jackson Heights, Queens. The gathering took place at Diversity Plaza which is a community to a large Asian-American population. The gathering acted as a vigil and to raise awareness of anti-Asian violence within New York and across the United States as a whole. Many Asian-Americans who hold a platform have spoken out about the rise and increase of Anti-Asian hate crimes and try to raise awareness, educating those who may not have been exposed to the incidents. The public is being told that we as a society should expect it to get worse before it gets better, but I find that to be a very slippery slope, dangerous to everyone within the community.