COVID-19 has led to a massive rise in hate crimes against East-Asian individuals in both America and the UK.
Anti-Asian attacks have been taking place at an alarming rate, yet media coverage of this issue has been lack lustre to say the least. This month alone there have been multiple attacks all over America.
In Oregon, nine Asian-owned businesses were targeted, with their windows left smashed.
Sadly, violent attacks towards individuals have also took place. An 84-year-old Thai man was killed after being pushed in San Francisco, a Filipino man was slashed across the face in NYC, and an elderly Vietnamese woman was robbed and assaulted in California.
IF YOU REALLY ARE ANTI-RACISM, SPREAD AWARENESS ABOUT NOEL QUINTANA’S CASE!! pic.twitter.com/y82spclyFw
— NOT LIA (@booisagun) February 10, 2021
These attacks all happened over the course of one week, so it’s clear how much of a pressing issue this is. It’s sad to see therefore, that the rise of hate crimes in the Asian community isn’t covered with the same urgency afforded to crime against white communities.
Since the COVID pandemic began to take off in early February last year, America has seen a 1,900% increase in hate crimes against Asians. A big reason for this is the racist narrative the pandemic painted for Asians, which blamed them for Covid-19, because the virus originated from China.
As it stands, over 2,000 incidents of such discrimination have been reported in the USA. In New York, hate crimes against the Asian community have become so frequent that the NYPD had to create an ‘Asian Hate Crime Task Force’. This is the first time in history we have seen a police task force made for investigating crimes towards a specific race.
This isn’t just a problem in the USA however, it’s also happening here in the UK. Since the beginning of COVID, the MET police have seen a huge rise in racist hate crimes against the Asian community.
In the first lockdown, Singaporean student Jonathan Mok was viciously assaulted by a group of teenagers on Oxford Street, London, in broad daylight.
A 15-year-old boy has admitted attacking a student from Singapore who was told "we don't want your coronavirus in our country".
— London & UK Street News (@CrimeLdn) August 10, 2020
We also saw another incident in Hertfordshire where a boy spat at the owner of the takeaway, asking if he had coronavirus. These things are also happening close to home, making it even more important to stand with the Asian community.
The fight against racial injustice is a joint one, and for all the crimes that are caught on camera they are many others that go unseen. It is important we use our voices to speak out against these hate crimes that occur.