By Michelle Moreno Lira
Hate crimes against Asian Americans have recently increased, causing many elders to stay inside their houses out of fear of being attacked. Across the U.S., Asian Americans have been harassed and physically harmed because of their race.
Since the beginning of COVID-19, Asian Americans have been targeted because of false information and spewed racism. While many blamed them for the virus, others have turned to physical and verbal assault against innocent people.
President Donald Trump declared the virus “the China virus” and encouraged these beliefs to follow from his followers. His reinforcement of their racism through his xenophobia allowed many of them to believe their actions wouldn’t be held accountable. According to Time, racial violence against these communities is often overlooked because of the community’s stereotypes.
The American government lacked involvement in reprimanding these stereotypes, and with the late President’s transparent xenophobic rhetoric, many Americans have been reported to discriminate against Asian American communities. According to Stop AAPI Hate, they received more than 2,808 reports of hate crimes against Asian Americans between Mar. 19 and Dec. 31, 2020, due to COVID-19.
Many blame the Asian communities for the virus.
Racist white supremacists refuse to acknowledge statistics and separate personal views from medical facts. A large percentage of Americans refuse to follow directions and recognize the virus as real. Instead, the blame is directed towards Democrats as they believe the inception of the virus was created as a ‘hoax’ by those same Democrats.
If these Americans are triggered by the virus and who may have caused it, they should be the first ones complying with requirements of face-coverings, the vaccine and lockdowns across states.
These crimes are unprovoked and unjustifiable by anyone. It’s only right that we categorize them as racism or hate crimes instead of incidents. They’re continuously happening and are making many individuals fearful of living a normal life.
Since Joe Biden came into the presidency, he has acknowledged these hate crimes and promised to work closely with the Department of Justice and Department of Health and Human Services to combat this violence.
Our President needs to hold these criminals accountable and remind Americans that racially-motivated hate crimes aren’t acceptable. He must not turn a blind eye; instead, he needs to remind Americans that this country is a melting pot that consists of different races and ethnicities, laying the foundation for America’s progress.
Although many people like to believe that Americans make America great, it isn’t without the contributions of many diverse racial groups that America has made many significant achievements.
As a Mexican-American, I fear that my parents will be targeted and attacked by someone who doesn’t understand inclusivity every day. The hate we’ve experienced consists of discrimination in predominately white spaces where people of color aren’t welcomed.
I put myself in their shoes and sympathize with the Asian American communities. We must come together to hold these criminals and terrorists accountable for their actions as allies.
In NorCal, at least three people have died after being attacked in communities like Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose. This proves that the risks are everywhere. Even in communities where minorities are a majority, they face the risk of being targeted by criminals.
Groups in Oakland are volunteering to accompany and escort elderly Asian Americans throughout the day to feel safe. It’s unbelievable that they must be guarded and protected as if they were dispensable objects and not human beings.
Many people are taking a stand against racism and violence, all while dedicating their time to protecting Asian American elders from harm’s way. Be aware of these issues, become a part of that front, be a part of the solution and not the problem. It’s only until we come together and protect each other that allies serve a purpose.
Michelle Moreno is a fourth-year majoring in English and minoring in Chicano Studies. She is from Downtown Los Angeles.
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