For the past few months, there has been an alarming increase in Asian hate crimes, mostly seniors, but the question is why.
An analysis done by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism showed “that while such crimes in 2020 decreased overall by seven percent, those targeting Asian people rose by nearly 150 percent.”
Since the start of the pandemic and with former President Donald Trump labeling it the “Chinese virus,” Stop Asian American Pacific Islander Hate, a center launched in response to anti-Asian racism, “has received over 2,800 first-hand reports of attacks and abuse against Asian-Americans in 47 states and the District of Columbia during the 2020 pandemic.”
Here are a few grueling incidents that have been reported as hate crimes against Asians:
1. On Wednesday, March 17, a white man went on a killing spree in Atlanta, Georgia. He walked into three different spas in the area, killing eight people, six of whom were Asian women. 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long claimed his actions were not racially-motivated and had to do with his sex addiction and these locations were areas of temptation. In an article by AP News, state Rep. Bee Nguyen, the first Vietnamese American to serve in the Georgia House and a frequent advocate for women and communities of color, said, these shootings seem to be the “intersection of gender-based violence, misogyny and xenophobia.” Long has been arrested and more information will be coming on his sentencing.
2. Owner of Mama Venezia’s Pizzeria, Ying Ngov, was a victim of a brutal attack outside her store on Feb. 19 in Norristown, Pennsylvania. Four men entered her store to buy beer but left without paying, so she chased after them on their way out. On her way to confront the men, she grabbed a shovel as a weapon of defense. One of the men “pushed her to the ground, but she got right back up. Another one of the men punched her in the face and she dropped to the ground. The suspects continued to beat on her while she was down. Ngov said she blacked out.” The 19-year-old suspects were arrested on charges of assault and robbery. Ngov, 56, said, “Don’t do bad like that because people work hard every day,” in a message to the suspects.
3. In San Francisco, California, two Asian victims were attacked by 32-year-old Jorge Devis-Milton on Monday. Danny Yu Chang, 59, was walking back to work from his lunch break when he was attacked, getting hit in the head multiple times, falling unconscious on the floor. Yu Chang, in an interview with KPIX 5 reporter Betty Yu, said, “I cannot see on my left eye, it’s still so bad I cannot see anything. On my right, it’s okay. I hope I don’t lose my vision here.” Yu Chang and his wife are looking to move out of the Bay Area and into a safer neighborhood. The other victim, whose name was not given, was a 64-year-old man who was stabbed in the face by the same suspect and was taken to the hospital. Devis Milton is facing charges of “assault, aggregated mayhem and battery.”