As the coronavirus pandemic looms over the world, outbreaks of xenophobia and hate crimes against Americans of Chinese and other Asian descent are rising at alarming rates.
A recent coronavirus-related hate crime in Midland, Texas, left a 2-year-old boy and his Burmese refugee family recovering from stab wounds to the face and torso. A pattern of such hate crimes against people of Asian descent has caught the attention of the FBI, and elected officials are finally walking back their incendiary language.
Asian American communities, institutions and scholars say this phenomenon is too familiar. “This is nothing new to the history of racism, pandemics, power and politics,” says Erika Lee, an immigration and Asian American studies historian and author of “America for Americans.”
Russell Jeung, who is part of an initiative to track and catalog hate crime data to help shape policy around coronavirus-related crimes, reveals data showing an alarming rate of hate crimes perpetrated against Asian Americans, with 60% of the reported attacks being against Asians not of Chinese descent.Year of the Ox are hip-hop artists who respond to the added tensions of anti-Asian xenophobia with their recent release “Viral.”
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