The evening of March 16 in Atlanta, Georgia hit the Asian-American community hard. There were cries of outrage and sadness from every corner of the United States. I myself was shocked and disgusted at the tragedy, but didn’t think the recent hate crimes on Asian-Americans would have led to this.
As you may have noticed through social media or through current news, Asian Americans have been facing a rise in hate crimes since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Stop AAPI Hate’s national report, there have been over 3,700 hate incidents from March 2020 to February 2021. Another alarming issue was that Asian women are said to have reported hate incidents 2.3 times more than men.
Despite most media news outlet reporting that the gunman’s intentions weren’t racially motivated and was more of a “temptation he’d wanted to eliminate” due to his alleged sex addiction, it can be said that the topics of misogyny, xenophobia, and gender-based violence are Venn diagrams on top of one another.
Historically, Asian women are hypersexualized, seen as submissive, or seen as conniving gold-diggers (see the ‘Dragon Lady’ stereotype from old and in some cases, early 2000s Hollywood movies). Despite these stereotypes coming from fiction, they still have dangerous effects on how Asian women are viewed in real life.
Asian women may have been seen as smaller, easier targets and this is probably why more women reported a higher number of hate crimes against them than men. I am not claiming anything, but sometimes, things are quite obvious if you make the connections. There is so much to dissect and so little time to talk about these subjects.
This shooting may be one of the tragic events that is remembered in AAPI history but there have been good things that have come out of it such as Go Fund Mes for the victims, peaceful vigils, and much more attention brought to the Asian community. It has brought everyone together in helping the victims of the shooting as well as Asian-Americans who were victimized by the hate. It showed that despite the recent surge in hate crimes, we stay united to #StopAsianHate.
Link to the national report from Stop AAPI Hate: shorturl.at/hnzB8
Link to the GoFundMe to help Hyun Jung Kim (one of the victims)’s sons: shorturl.at/ktwU6