The Rise of Hate Crimes and Prejudice towards Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders

A look into the history of discrimination and recent rise of hate crimes towards AAPI community

by Olivia Miller, Section Editor

As COVID-19 has ravaged the United States, claiming more than 598 thousand lives, another disease has been spreading. 

Prejudice and racism towards Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders has always been an issue in the U.S., but due to Trump’s xenophobic nickname for the virus, constantly referring to it as the “Chinese virus,” hate crimes have dramatically risen.

Nearly 3,800 hate crimes towards AAPI were reported in 2020, and anti-Asian hate incidents doubled in March of 2021, showcasing the fact that the hate is only growing. 

Though hate crimes towards AAPI are on the climb, racism is not a new issue facing Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. There is a long history of anti-Asian racism and violence in the U.S. 

From the 1854 ruling in California, People v. Hall, in which it was ruled that people of Asian descent couldn’t testify against a white person in court, to the Japanese internment camps following the Pearl Harbor bombing in World War ll, bigotry against AAPI has always existed in America. 

However, there have been new additions to the long history of bigotry towards AAPI. On March 16, a white man went into an Atlanta spa and shot eight people, six of which were Asian American women. 

There has also been a plethora of other reported hate crimes towards AAPI, including heart-wrenching recordings of victims being targets of racist and xenophobic rants. 

 Nonetheless, this issue is being addressed. 

On April 30, 2021, the Biden administration released a proclamation regarding Asian American and Native Hawaiian / Pacific Islander Heritage Month. He goes on to address the increased rates of anti-Asian harassment and violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. He then vows to decrease those rates and fight the racism and xenophobia that plagues this country. 

The Senate recently passed a bill targeting hate crimes against Asian Americans, designed to make it easier for law enforcement to investigate hate crimes against Asian Americans after a surge in violence amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

There is also several organizations including Stop AAPI Hate and National Queer Asain Pacific Islander Alliance that are fighting to put an end to AAPI hate. 

The CKHS AAPI Club released a video addressing the international hate crimes amongst the Asian community. 

There is many actions that can be taken to fight against violence and racism towards Asian Americans, from reporting hate crimes that you witness to just learning about the history of Asian American discrimination. 

Some resources to help you report hate crimes are: