Group Says Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Increase during Pandemic

Sunday, July 5, 2020

Publication: Voice of America

At least 2,100 anti-Asian hate incidents have been reported in the United States since March. Asian-American activists say the racism is being fueled in part by political speeches against China in connection with the coronavirus pandemic.

The Los Angeles-based Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council is a coalition of organizations that support the rights and needs of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans. The organization is gathering reports called Stop AAPI Hate of incidents against Asian-Americans.

It says most of the incidents were cases of hate speech, like racial insults. But it said about 8 percent involved physical attacks, including spitting on victims and bans against Asians from businesses.

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Trump began to accuse China of delays in reporting news of the outbreak in Wuhan. He also said China had not reported on the severity of COVID-19 and its spread.

Trump also has repeatedly described the new coronavirus as the “Chinese virus” and “kung-flu.” Asian Americans and others say the terms are derogatory and have led people to blame them for the disease.

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Phil Ting, a state assemblyman in California, said those words have led to an increase in anti-Asian behavior and hate crimes. “You see leaders express words that really give license to other people to express those same sentiments and also to act on them,” Ting said.