In the year since the global pandemic was declared, Asian-American communities have experienced an alarming surge in discrimination and racist-fueled attacks. These incidents are largely attributed to the racist rhetoric that seeks to blame Asian-Americans for pandemic-related woes, as the novel coronavirus is believed to have originated in Wuhan, China.
As pointed out by TIME magazine, the NYPD reported anti-Asian hate crimes increased by 1,900 percent during the first half of 2020. U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY) revealed that there were nearly 2,600 reports of anti-Asian acts from March to May across 47 states; 70 percent of those incidents were verbal harassment, 21 percent involved “shunning,” and 9 percent were physical assaults.
Last month, an 84-year-old Thai immigrant named Vicha Ratanapakdee was fatally assaulted while walking in San Francisco. Days later, a surveillance camera captured an attack on a 91-year-old man in Oakland’s Chinatown, and last week, a 64-year-old grandmother was robbed in broad daylight as she got into her car parked outside a San Jose Vietnamese market.
“There’s a clear correlation between President Trump’s incendiary comments, his insistence on using the term ‘Chinese virus’ and the subsequent hate speech spread on social media and the hate violence directed towards us,” Russell Jeung, a co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate, told TIME. “It gives people license to attack us. The current spate of attacks on our elderly is part of how that rhetoric has impacted the broader population.”
In wake of the recent attacks, activists within the Asian-American and Pacific Islander communities are calling on others to help combat xenophobia and anti-Asian racism. To assist with that effort, we’ve assembled a list of ways you can help curb these acts of violence as well as support those who’ve been most affected by them.