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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

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Rise in anti-Asian hate crimes


Standing with the Asian American community

With a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes across the U.S., Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) have experienced an increase in verbal and physical attacks. St. Joe’s must stand with the AAPI communities against these xenophobic actions and anti-Asian rhetoric.  

Although anti-Asian hate crimes have steadily increased over the past four years, media coverage has not adequately kept up with this increase. Stop AAPI Hate, a group focused on stopping anti-Asian hate crimes, reported more than 2,800 firsthand reports between March and December 2020. 

The coronavirus pandemic is one of the factors that has contributed to the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes. Former U.S. President Donald Trump inflamed xenophobic rhetoric surrounding the COVID-19 virus, which originated in Wuhan, China. Trump falsely claimed that China was to blame for COVID-19 deaths in the U.S., which has contributed to the increase in hate crimes targeting AAPI communities. 

As a result of the model minority myth, Asian Americans are not as prominent in national anti-racism movements. The model minority myth groups all different members of the AAPI communities together to say that Asian Americans are higher achieving and more successful than other minority groups. Not only does this myth perpetuate stereotypes of all Asian Americans, but it groups the many different Asian cultures and identities into one generalized Asian stereotype. The model minority myth also separates minorities into a hierarchy and places Asians towards the top above other minority groups. 

The mental and emotional toll that racism and hate crimes take on any community is immense and immeasurable. The general lack of awareness of anti-Asian hate crimes and violence exacerbates their impact. 

To address separations between minority groups, AAPI communities should be a part of the national movement for social and racial justice. This includes acknowledging that there are many different cultures and identities within Asian communities and that there is not “one type” of Asian identity or experience. For example, the assumption that any person who looks like they are Asian is Chinese, is, at minimum, ignorant and possibly bigoted. This is frustrating for members of the AAPI communities. The experiences of everyone who is of AAPI descent are different and unique, and should not consist of sweeping generalizations.

We also must share and listen to Asian American stories to gain a greater understanding of how these communities have been affected by the anti-Asian racism in U.S. history. 

There are many ways for us to address these hate crimes against the AAPI communities. We can begin to educate ourselves by reading the stories of anti-Asian hate crimes on the Asian Americans Advancing Justice website. This group also has a hate crime reporting resource for anyone who has experienced this type of violence. Similarly, the Center for Asian Pacific American Women has many articles and videos for and about AAPI women and is a great resource if you’re looking to learn how to support these communities. 

To become more aware of the AAPI communities around St. Joe’s, consider going to the Center for Inclusion and Diversity to become involved with and support the Asian Student Association (ASA) on our campus. The ASA is dedicated to creating an inclusive space for all members of the AAPI communities, but they’re also welcoming to non-AAPI students who are interested in learning about the Asian American experience. Our allyship with AAPI is needed now more than ever. Injustice towards one community is an injustice towards all communities.

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