Multiple Attacks on Asian-Americans in Recent Weeks; Xenophobia Rises due to COVID-19

Adam Bear, Staff Writer

Since the beginnings of the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian-Americans have been the target of hateful, often violent crime. This is due to the misguided idea that Asian-Americans are carriers of COVID-19 and are responsible for the pandemic because COVID-19 originated in Wuhan, China. These attacks range from verbal harassment to violent assault.

Between March 19 and December 31, 2020, 2,808 hate incidents against Asian-Americans had been reported. Countless others have likely gone unreported. In March, when the pandemic had just begun, over 100 hate incidents against Asian-Americans were reported in one day. These attacks are not slowing down. Over 20 attacks against elderly Asian-Americans in the San Francisco bay area have occurred in recent weeks. One attack, which occurred on January 28, led to the death of Vicha Ratanapakdee, who was assaulted during his morning walk in San Francisco. Ratanapakdee was shoved into the ground, and died from his injuries days later.

The spread of disease being used to justify xenophobia is not a new phenomenon, and neither is racism against Asian-Americans. These factors, coupled with numerous remarks from figures such as Donald Trump, that scapegoat the Asian-American community for the COVID-19 pandemic, led to the rise of these attacks.