The Rise of Asian Hate Crimes


Dia Dipasupil

Protestors hold up signs in response to recent Asian hate crimes.

Anita Tun, Photojournalist

COVID-19 has fueled Asian hate crimes across the United States. Due to COVID-19 originating from Wuhan, China, some have scapegoated Asians for causing this pandemic. Therefore, a rise in racial slurs and assaults has drastically increased over the past year.


To start, the variations of offensive terms have been incited, such as former President Donald Trump referring to COVID-19 as the “China Virus” and the “Kung Flu.” Such phrases make it seem that an ethnic group was the cause of this virus, which only painted Asians as more of a scapegoat to the nation. 


The highest number of incidents took place in cities with the largest Asian communities. This includes Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and New York City, with California being the state where approximately one-third of Asian Americans reside, accounting for nearly 40% of all incidents (USA Today). 


The New York Police Department (NYPD) statistics show major crimes have risen 50% this year in New York compared to around the same time as last year. An example of these hate crimes in New York City is two elderly Asian women assaulted in the subway on the same day. Both women were attacked on February 16 as the first woman, 68 years old, was punched in the back of the head in Harlem (ABC7). 


The second woman, 71 years old, was punched on the left side of her face, and she described the experience as “Hurt and blood, bleeding” (Courtesy of ABC7). She believes she was a victim of a racially motivated hate crime because two smaller, non-Asian women were sitting beside her, but they were unharmed. However, the NYPD is not investigating this assault as a hate crime. 


Noel Quintana was another victim in the New York City subways. Quintana is a Filipino 61year-old man who was slashed across the face. The suspect was kicking his backpack, and when Quintana asked him to stop, the suspect attacked him and fled. Quintana stated that the wounds were so deep that he could not talk and was scared that he would die because nobody would help him (ABC7).


Another incident resulted in 84-year-old Thai grandfather, Vicha Ratanapakdee, being attacked by a young man charging him. Ratanapakdee was walking around his neighborhood, and after this incident, he died due to his injuries. Haley Yoon (10) is outraged with these hate crimes and “throughout this pandemic, we’ve already seen the rise of xenophobia, but this new increase of Asian hate crimes is especially appalling and hurtful because they are targeted towards the elders of our community.”


These four victims only account for a small number of Asian Americans either verbally or physically assaulted for their race since  COVID-19. Ways to help these types of victims and prevent these issues are to donate to GoFundMes, such as the “Self-Protection Packages for AAPI” and “Support our Asian Elders during COVID-19.” Also, one can report a hate incident with the organization, Stop AAPI Hate. Most importantly, it is significant to educate others about the harm and impacts of racism on future generations to create an equal nation.