The Sudden Increase in Asian-American Violence

In 2020, violence in Asian-Americans had risen above 150% in major U.S. cities since the previous year. 

And unfortunately, the figure has only increased ever since. 

Red Chinese lantern decor Burst Shortly after Lunar New Year in early February, horrific videos of attacks on Asian pedestrians were spread all over social media. A Filipino man was slashed with a box cutter on a New York train. A 52-year-old Chinese woman was shoved to the ground and had to get stitches outside a Queens bakery. Two elderly Asian women were assaulted on the NYC subway. A Chinese elementary school worker was beaten with his own walking stick. And that was only a small amount of the attacks that occurred in the United States in February 2021. 

As I saw many of these videos online, I felt a raw sense of anger toward this unjustified violence. Then, I humorlessly thought to myself: “Well, what did we expect when we had a president who referred to COVID-19 as the ‘Chinese virus?’

Chinese man with medical mask Photo by Macau Photo Agency When a powerful political figure makes such appalling remarks and defends them multiple times--how could we not expect the sudden increase in violence toward Asian-Americans? 

What people fail to understand is that causation does not imply correlation. It’s basic common sense that you can learn in your high school statistics class. Just because a virus originated from a place in China, does not mean that every single Asian-American on Earth is suddenly responsible for the virus. The fact that a majority of American citizens don’t understand this and still continue both physically and mentally hurt Asian-Americans is just...appalling to me. As advanced as we claim to be, are we still not empathetic? Do we still fail to understand that injuring elderly Asian-Americans does absolutely nothing but cause more pain and fear? 

My heart aches for those who now fear stepping outside to get groceries on top of being in a pandemic. I truly wish there was a more concrete solution to this ongoing problem, but unfortunately, there isn’t. The best we can do at this moment is to spread awareness and make people aware of the kind of unjust and atrocious crimes that are occurring far too much against Asian-Americans. And then maybe, just maybe, we can learn to be a little more empathetic toward one another.