Story at a glance
- Since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, there have been a surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans.
- The New York Times has begun tracking the timeline of these racist crimes through media reports.
- Victims don’t always report these crimes to the police or even the media, suggesting an even higher count.
More than 110 hate crimes against people of Asian descent have been reported in the United States since March 2020, according to a New York Times investigation tracking the surge in anti-Asian hate since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. But these are only the ones reported by the media and where “there was clear evidence of race-based hate,” which means there may be more.
“Hate as a motive is historically difficult to prove,” notes the New York Times, adding “The tally arrived at by The Times may be only a sliver of the violence and harassment people of Asian descent have faced over the last year, as hate crimes are generally undercounted and underreported and only the most egregious accounts become headlines.It is also possible that the number of reports to law enforcement authorities and the media have increased, rather than the number of episodes.”
Hate crimes reported to the police have spiked in major cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, San Jose and Dallas, but they have also been reported in other parts of the country, including smaller towns. In a timeline, the New York Times tracked physical and verbal attacks as well as vandalism, with a spike in attacks last month that surpassed the surge last March.
The first incident was reported in Chicago on March 21, after two women threw a log and spat at a 60-year-old Chinese-American man who was out for a run, accusing him of being sick and telling him to “go back to China.” The most recent was vandalism at a church in Seattle, where racist graffiti included “China, you will pay. Go home.”
In response, the donations towards the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities have increased over the last year, but community groups and organizations are wary that the support is not sustainable and will fade quicker than the hate.
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