Friday, December 11, 2020
Anti-Asian American sentiment continues to rise as the pandemic rages across the country, manifesting itself in cities like Santa Ana, just south of Los Angeles, where the Huong Tich Temple and five other Buddhist temples in the area were vandalized last month. "15 of the temple’s Buddha and bodhisattva statues had been spray-painted. The word ‘Jesus’ in black letters had been emblazoned down one statue’s back," writes Caitlin Yoshiko Kandil for Religion News Service. Funie Hsu, a professor of American Studies at San Jose State University, said that for Asian Americans, religion has long been a "barrier to their acceptance" in the U.S., and Buddha statues in particular often serve as "a punching bag for any form of animosity people are feeling against Asians."