USA pledges to investigate, as attacks on Asian Americans increase

California commits $1.4 million to combat 'horrific' attacks on Asian Americans

US vows to probe increase in 'horrific' attacks on Asian-Americans

An incident involving a man leaving a box containing a mutilated cat carcass outside an Asian family-run butcher shop in Sacramento is being investigated as a possible hate crime, authorities said.

The funds will support the work of researchers at the Asian American Studies Center at the University of California Los Angeles as well as several initiatives including the Stop AAPI Hate website, which began collecting reports of racism and discrimination against Asian Americans on March 19 a year ago. He ordered the Department of Health and Human Services to "consider issuing guidance describing best practices for advancing cultural competency, language access, and sensitivity" toward Asian Americans as part of its COVID-19 response.

The majority of those incidents - about 71% - were cases of verbal harassment, while shunning or avoidance made up about 21%. A coalition called Stop AAPI Hate said it received a total of 2,808 reported incidents of racism and discrimination targeting Asian-Americans across the United States between March 19, 2020 and December 2020.

What's happening in the US?

What kinds of discrimination have been reported?.

Asian Americans have been reporting similar incidents since the virus began to spread through the United States a year ago.

In recent weeks, celebrities and influencers have spoken out after several disturbing incidents went viral on social media.

A couple of days later a 91-year-old man was attacked in Oakland's Chinatown.

Vicha Ratanapakdee, an 84-year-old man who immigrated to the United States from Thailand, died on February 1 after being attacked and knocked to the ground in San Francisco, according to SF Gate.

An 89-year-old Chinese woman was slapped and set on fire by two people in Brooklyn, New York.

One of the high-profile examples of innocent Asian Americans being insulted during the COVID-19 pandemic involved a woman waiting in line at a bakery in NY, who was shoved into a metal newspaper box by a man, and a 91-year-old man being shoved to the ground in the Chinatown in Oakland, California.

The New York Police Department has stated that there has been a 1,900 percent increase in hate crimes against Asian-Americans.

John Yang is the executive director of Asian American Advancing Justice
John Yang is the executive director of Asian American Advancing Justice

An Asian American family celebrating a birthday at a restaurant in Carmel, California, was berated with racist slurs by a Trump-supporting tech executive. "I know people are upset and angry and they're looking for people to blame, and unfortunately a few people are blaming the wrong individuals, and they're blaming Asian Americans".

What's the situation in California?

They make up more than 15% of residents in the state.

The coronavirus hit the state hard and early, grinding its bustling cities and businesses to a halt.

Those numbers have since intensified in Orange County, where anti-Asian hate incidents are up by an estimated 1200%, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism. These actions were harmful because they not only promoted and justified anti-Asian hate and violence, but also distracted people from taking deliberate action to effectively stop the spread of COVID-19.

Ting lamented former President Donald Trump's use of "China virus" or "Kung flu", saying these words from the highest branch of government are directly linked to the uptick in anti-Asian racism.

President Joe Biden on January 26 signed an executive order to combat xenophobia and racism against AAPIs, which includes a directive for the Department of Justice to expand the collection of data and public reporting of hate incidents.

"Because it just becomes OK to say hateful things towards Asian Americans who have nothing to do with this virus, and then it becomes okay to assault Asian Americans".

But, with Democrats now in control of both chambers of Congress, lawmakers and activists are calling for more attention and resources devoted to the issue.

Richard Pan, the chair of California's Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus, noted in a statement lauding the new legislation that anti-Asian racism in the USA did not start with the coronavirus pandemic.

In Orange County, neighbours stepped in to help out an Asian American family after a group of teenagers repeatedly targeted them for months with little police intervention.

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