Friday, April 10, 2020

California study tracks hate crimes against Asian Americans amid COVID-19 outbreak

There have been many reports of anti-Asian violence in light of the coronavirus pandemic.  As reported by a California televisi0n station, ""[a]cross the country, reports of racism and hate crimes against Asian Americans because of the coronavirus outbreak are on the rise. . . . How widespread is Asian American discrimination because of COVID-19? That is what the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON) based out of Los Angeles, San Francisco State University and Chinese for Affirmative Action are tracking now. The organizations launched the STOP AAPI HATE reporting website. In the first two weeks following its launch, they received over 1,100 reports of physical assault, verbal harassment and shunning. The organizations launched the initiative on March 19 following a reported physical attack of a 12-year-old boy at his LA middle school.

“He was accused of having the coronavirus simply because he was Asian American. The perpetrator told him to ‘Go back to China.’ And when the child responded that he was not Chinese, the perpetrator then punched him in the head 20 times,” Kulkarni said.

LA County’s Public Health Department joined hands with the organization shortly after to dispel those myths. The CDC has also tried to quell the stigma with its own guidance.

Kulkarni said they are receiving reports from students, teachers and even doctors.

“A teacher at a school reported that a small group of students in her 4th grade class yelled, 'Kill the Chinese, Kill the Chinese!'" she said. “Even as they’re trying to save lives, one doctor was punched in the parking lot. Another physician had received racially derogatory comments from patients who he was trying to help.”

It’s examples like those that worry Jessica Seto who lives in Fremont, an area with a high population of Chinese Americans.

“I grew more afraid of getting attacked than getting the virus itself,” said Seto. “It feels like nowhere is safe right now.


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