TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - President Joe Biden calling out the rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans during the pandemic said, “They’re being attacked, harassed, blamed and scapegoated.”
According to a new report from Stop AAPI Hate, a non-profit that stands up for Asian-American, Pacific Islander communities reports a 150% surge in Anti-Asian Hate crimes in 2020 across the United States. The group also found that women are 2.5 times more likely to be attacked than men.
For graduate student, Angela Thai, she said the rise in hate towards her people is nothing new.
“I feel personally robbed in the sense that I will try and go about my day, trying to thrive like a regular human being, and you get this random trigger that racism is almost too explicit till this day,” said Thai.
As a child, Thai remembers her mother and father confronting racism when they arrived to the U.S. after escaping post-war Vietnam.
“I remember growing up hearing them being called Chinks. That hurt growing up,” she said. Thai tells us the racism and hate has made her question where she truly belongs.
“It has definitely played into this feeling that we don’t belong here, even though we’re citizens,” Thai said.
Many people across the country place the blame for the rise in hate crimes on former President Donald Trump’s rhetoric.
“You see other governmental officials calling it the kung flu virus or the China virus; that’s when I feared, there will be a large anti-Asian rhetoric,” said Nisha Puri, a volunteer with the Boston University COVID-19 Response Core.
Puri and several students are teaming up with the Asian Pacific American Student Affairs office to bring awareness on this matter, in hopes of educating the public on the virus and to stop putting the blame on others.
“We try to take part of that anti-Asian rhetoric, the disinformation which is what’s really fueling that anti-Asian hate and racism and we try to get the proper information out there to the general public,” Puri said.
She said that the virus shouldn’t be correlated to race or anything biological, that this only adds fuel to the anti-Asian rhetoric.
If you are a student or someone in the community seeking help, here is a list of resources in Tucson with people ready to help serve you.