Asian Hate Crimes Are on the Rise

Surina Ramoutar, Staff Writer

Asian hate crimes have increased by nearly 150% between 2019 and 2020, and this number is continuously rising in 2021. NBC News reports an analysis of police department statistics across the 16 largest cities in America. The study reveals that ever since the start of the pandemic there has been a spike in Asian-directed hate crimes in all but two cities, the majority of these crimes coming from New York. The crimes are alongside a rise in Covid-19 cases and ongoing negative associations of Asian Americans with the virus. These hate crimes have taken on different forms and spanned across generations and regions. There have been physical attacks, verbal attacks, and vandalism of homes and businesses. “The New York Times” states that the aggressors often express racial hostility with phrases like ‘“You are the virus,” “You are infected,” “Go back to China,” and “You’re the one who brought the virus here.”

There have been 3,800 anti-Asian incidents in the past year alone, and in the past month a 68-year-old man was struck in the head unprovoked by a 36-year-old, who used an anti-Asian slur. Additionally, a 66-year-old Asian man was punched in the face on the street in Chinatown and suffered swelling and bruising. The attacker yelled racial slurs at him before striking him. Furthermore, a 13-year-old boy was attacked by a group of teenagers who threw basketballs at his head while yelling obscenities, insults, and “Go back to China.” Dozens of other attacks happened as well. 

In response to the attacks, the NYPD created an Asian Hate Crime task force: “Crimes against Asians, in general, have been happening for quite some time,” said NYPD Inspector Tommy Ng, the new commanding officer of the NYPD’s Asian Hate Crimes Task Force. Inspector Ng explains that some people don’t come forward with these hate crimes since they have become so used to constantly experiencing it, and the number of hate crimes happening may be much higher than what is just being reported. The NYPD announced a new initiative to combat hate crimes and prevent people from becoming victims in the first place. They have expanded the Asian Hate Crime task force, enforcement would include plainclothes officers being deployed in teams as undercover cops, increased outreach efforts including holding community forums in Flushing and Chinatown, and using the feedback from the forums to develop more solutions. 

Hate crimes against Asian-Americans have become widespread across the nation and it’s imperative that there are efforts made to combat them. The NYPD taking measures to try to decrease the crimes are a start, but Asian hate crimes should not be tolerated due to their racist nature.