If you’ve been paying attention to the news and media, you would know that anti Asian attacks have increased tremendously this year. Asians have been verbally and physically attacked simply because of their race.
Just a few weeks ago, Jenny Dupuy, a Korean art teacher, was attacked by Jauhar Tajuddin. According to the LA times he was later arrested for suspected hate crime, assault and other charges after punching Dupuy in the stomach and making racial comments. “Dupuy said she suffered a concussion and fractured shoulder, among other injuries,” according to the LA times. In Brooklyn, New York, a 64 year old woman was pushed to the ground by Joseph Russo, the same man who pushed a 77 year old Asian man and assaulted a woman on March 22nd. He has been arrested for multiple crimes including assault and hate crime but seems like he can’t get enough.
The coronavirus has proven to be the reason why these Anti-Asian attacks have increased tremendously. According to the BBC’s article “Covid ‘hate crimes’ against Asian Americans on rise,” since last year, Anti-Asian attacks have skyrocketed. Just in the months of March through May last year, over 800 anti Asian attacks were reported because of the pandemic. Although numbers aren’t as dramatic this year, these attacks continue to happen. Just in the last few weeks more than 13 videos have gone viral of people harassing Asian people. We can only Imagine all of the crimes that have not been reported. It’s a horrible thing.
I believe that President Donald Trump had a big part when it came to these attacks increasing, whether he realized it or not. Last year when the pandemic was first announced In March 2020, Trump made several racist comments towards Asians, specifically Chinese people, when he referred to the virus as the “China virus” for the first time on Twitter. The tweet was followed by thousands of his supporters using the hashtag “#chinesevirus. “To test their theory, Hswen and other researchers analyzed nearly 700,000 tweets containing the hashtags #covid-19 and #chinesevirus published between March 9 and 23, 2020, corresponding to the week before and the week after Trump’s tweet” according to the Washington post. Clearly, people saw it as a green light to harass people which is not at all what should be happening.
I wanted to get a different perspective and especially from someone with an Asian background. I interviewed Thepo Tulku. Thepo was born in Tibet but grew up in India after China invaded Tibet. I started off by asking what he thought caused such an increase in anti Asian hate which he responded by saying that the media and covid 19 was mainly responsible. “Covid-19 was discovered in Wong-Hong and President Trump started using the word China-Virus” he explained that some people aren’t really educated and see an Asian face and automatically blame them for the virus. Thepo says he doesn’t blame Trump and doesn’t mean to cause harm. “I think he was disappointed because the Communist Chinese government hid the virus, If they communicated better with the world leaders they could’ve controlled the virus better.”
As we continue to see these hate crimes increase, I ask that people educate themselves on why it’s wrong to harass people simply because of their race. Asians all over the world are constantly living with fear of being assaulted anywhere and at any time because a false narrative was spread. Asian people were not the cause of this virus and harassing people on the street won’t make it go away. We need to come together at a time like this instead of harassing each other because of our background. “There is no China virus, we’ve had viruses start in other places and we don’t call them African virus or England virus, it has nothing to do with where they come from, they affect the whole world.” Thepo ended by saying we have to focus on overcoming the virus instead of blaming people because he believes the media tried to blame China. Thepo believes we need to come together and stop the hate.
[Image Credit: VOA News]