The Injustice for Asian Americans


Isabella Lombardo '21, Staff Writer




COVID has decidedly changed our perception of the world. The deadly virus has taken a toll on families, regardless of class or creed. Among its many impacts, the coronavirus outbreak has led to a surge in Asian American hate crimes. Due to its supposed origins in Wuhan, China, some Americans have used Asians as a scapegoat, propagating racist rhetoric. Asian Americans are perceived as the more “successful” racial group, and therefore should keep their heads down. Unfortunately, awareness of this issue is not as widespread as it should be. 

On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, eight people were murdered in a series of shootings in Atlanta. Though the suspect claimed this was not racially motivated, 6 of the 8 victims were Asian women. These hate crimes have increased drastically, and now it’s too significant to ignore. According to VOA news, in New York, there has been an 833% increase in these hate crimes from 2019 to 2020. Across the nation, the intensity of these crimes has also drastically spiked, with crimes ranging from hurling racial epithets to getting sliced by a boxcutter. 

Unfortunately, this issue is alive in local areas. In Philadelphia alone, 6 incidents were reported in 2020. In fact, people like Stephen Kulp, a Philadelphia resident, have reported verbal assault. He told the Philadelphia Inquirer that a stranger followed him and screamed, “Chinese virus! Go back to where you came from!” Although his friends tore him away from the man, it is incidents like these that can scar someone forever. According to the American Psychological Association, those that experience hate crimes are more likely to develop PTSD, “depression, anxiety, and anger” than victims of other violent crimes. 

This topic is very personal to me because my mom is Asian. I’m scared for my family going into the city for work, even though I know it’s necessary. In our community, someone revealed to me that someone has screamed to them “Go back to where you came from,” followed by a slew of derogatory comments. They have also informed me that people have refused to stand near them on the subway since some have this false understanding that Asian people are more likely to have the virus. I also know people in the community who have had slurs and comments tossed at them at the grocery store, restaurants, and DMV. Just because Asian Americans aren’t being physically assaulted doesn’t mean the pain from verbal abuse is negated. 

The racism towards Asian Americans in this nation is a disgrace. Although we cannot fix the past, our nation’s history is not defined by this. We need to show empathy towards each other, reach out to victims, make sure Asian Americans in our community are alright. Don’t make this a fad or a trend, show that you understand their plight every day. In the end, we are 100% Asian, 100% American.