The Increase in Asian Hate



Photo Source: Rachel Wisniewski/Reuters

In the United States, the number of hate crimes has decreased by 7% in 2020, with the start of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the decrease in general crimes doesn’t mean the number of anti-Asian crimes has also decreased. The number had actually increased by almost 150%, as stated by NBC News. Notable cities with notable anti-Asian hate crimes include New York, Boston, and Los Angeles. One example of an anti-Asian crime occurred on March 16, 2021, where a mass shooting occurred at three different massage parlors and spas in Atlanta, Georgia. In total, eight people died during this shooting, six of whom were Asian women, with 1 person wounded. The suspect, Robert Aaron Long, a 21-year-old, was taken in custody later that day and was charged with eight counts of murder total and one count of aggravated assault. Long has not been charged with a hate crime in his investigation as of now, however many do categorize his actions as that of a hate crime due to the increase of anti-Asian hate crimes that have been happening recently since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Blue and White had the opportunity to interview some individuals of our Asian American community, and document their responses and experiences when it comes to anti-Asian racism.

(Photo by RINGO CHIU/AFP via Getty Images)

Mr. Mogol, an Athletic Trainer here at Apopka High School, had expressed his responses to the increase in anti-Asian hate crimes. Mr. Mogol is part of the AAPI community, being Filipino himself. He had voiced that he had personally not experienced any anti-Asian racism, but “a lot of it has to do with the pandemic and limiting my outings in public places.” However, he had stated, “I think that if I were to go out more often, I might be more likely to experience it.” When asked what he thinks may have prompted anti-Asian racism in the U.S., he says he feels that a former leader had normalized discrimination within the Asian community, and he believes this outwards normalization of racism had lead to other normal civilians being bold enough to be outwardly racist themselves. 

Chloe Tan, an Asian American student of Malaysian Chinese descent, had also voiced her concerns and opinions regarding the matter. Personally, she says she has not experienced any racist comments or acts towards her, however, she has “known so many people in my life who have been called racial slurs when doing daily activities such as grocery shopping, getting gas, etc.” She is in agreement that anti-Asian racism has always been present for many years, but had gotten more extreme with the start of the coronavirus pandemic. One such example of this would be the attack on an elderly Asian man and woman on Market Street in San Francisco. The attacker, a 39-year-old man, had allegedly punched the 83-year-old Asian man, and later punched a 76-year-old Asian American woman without provocation of any kind. Acting in self-defense, the elderly woman had fought back against her attacker and the man was handed off to the police. The woman’s grandson, John Chen, had started a GoFundMe to pay for the injuries she had sustained in the attack and had attracted so much attention which eventually raised almost $1 million. His grandma had told him that she wants to donate the money to combat racism against the Asian American community because she believes this issue is bigger than her. With the news media reporting these Asian hate crimes, as well as a new movement, Stop Asian Hate, Chloe states that “We are getting more recognition, especially on social media and other big platforms than at any time in history.” 

AHS Senior: Chloe Tan

Jenny Lin is a Chinese and Asian American student here at Apopka High School. When asked if she had personally experienced anti-Asian racism, she had responded that she hasn’t, but neighbors living close to her family members have been experiencing racism since the beginning of the pandemic. Jenny had voiced that she believes that “a lot of people have always grown up with racism, especially towards Asians since it’s been so normalized,”  where “people make jokes and don’t even think it’s racist.” Especially with the Covid pandemic, she voices that a lot of people are putting the blame on Asians and Asian Americans, which has ultimately led to more violence. Even with the introduction of the Stop Asian Hate movement, Jenny believes that it has brought more awareness, however, it doesn’t give more physical help in terms of laws, with the Atlanta shooting being taken into account. She also believes that people can do a lot more against violence, like not supporting a shooter by saying he was “Having a bad day.” Jenny expresses that she believes more awareness should be brought to light with the anti-Asian hate crimes, saying to “Keep pushing it on social media. The more people see it, the less they can ignore it.”

With the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, we can only hope they will get better with time as more awareness is spread. Through social movements like Stop Asian Hate, we hope to keep pushing the facts that Asian hate is real, and therefore actions in response to it have to be real. As for Apopka High School, we here at The Blue and White hope the Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders both here and elsewhere, remain safe during these times.