A s we continue to witness violence against Asian Americans —including, in the past month, the punching of a Bay Area father pushing his baby in a stroller; the assault on two women with a cement block in a Baltimore liquor store; and the stabbing of two women , ages 85 and 65, at a bus stop in San Francisco—my social media feeds are frequently filled with messages imploring people to recognize and challenge anti-Asian racism. But while discrimination faced by Asian and Pacific Islander people—especially those more vulnerable because of poverty, immigration status, occupation, age, isolation or other circumstances—is far from new, sometimes it can feel as though we are begging others to see it, see us, at all. Over the past year, I have often found myself urging family, friends, acquaintances and strangers to first notice and then feel outraged by the ways in which Asian and Pacific Islander Americans are being endangered by pandemic scapegoating , from children being tormented at school to elders being attacked in the streets. None of us should be unwilling to name or condemn racist violence. But as the attacks continue, I find that I am increasingly weary of pleading for acknowledgment or empathy. I am ready to stop chasing after those who need to see your deepest wounds on display before they will even contemplate believing your words.
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Eight-in-ten Asian Americans say violence against them is rising in the U.S. | Pew Research Center
For many Asian-Americans , the stabbing was horrifying, but not surprising. It was widely seen as just the latest example of racially targeted violence against Asians during the pandemic. But the perpetrator, a year-old man from Yemen, had not said a word to the victim before the attack, investigators said. Prosecutors determined they lacked enough evidence to prove a racist motive.
Asian-Americans Are Being Attacked. Why Are Hate Crime Charges So Rare?
While news reports and social media have perpetuated the idea that anti-Asian violence is committed mostly by people of color, a new analysis shows the majority of attackers are white. Janelle Wong, a professor of American Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park, released analysis last week that drew on previously published studies on anti-Asian bias. She found official crime statistics and other studies revealed more than three-quarters of offenders of anti-Asian hate crimes and incidents, from both before and during the pandemic, have been white, contrary to many of the images circulating online. Wong told NBC Asian America that such dangerous misconceptions about who perpetrates anti-Asian hate incidents can have "long-term consequences for racial solidarity.
The new survey was conducted April 5 to 11, after the fatal shooting of six Asian women and two other people in the Atlanta area on March 16 and assaults on Asian Americans that occurred that same month Asian adults were interviewed in English only. President Joe Biden spoke out against anti-Asian discrimination and violence a few days after the shooting. Pew Research Center conducted this study to understand the extent of discrimination experienced by Asian Americans and other groups amid the coronavirus outbreak, as well as their perceptions of violence against Asian people.