Pandemic to blame for increase in Asian American hate crimes


At work. On the sidewalk. At the airport. On the subway. No matter where they are, Asian Americans have become a target. 

Asian Americans deal with discrimination daily in the U.S. They’re often called ethnic slurs and harassed but are disregarded. 

However, people began to pay attention when hate crimes against Asian Americans increased by 150% in 2020, according to the BBC.

Many people were left wondering what caused the increase. Was it because of the election?  Was it because of the pandemic? Or was it a coincidence?

The increase in Asian American hate crimes is because of COVID-19.

It starts with the discovery of the virus. According to the CDC, COVID-19 was first discovered in Wuhan, China. 

The exact location as to where it originated is unknown. Some say it originated from bats, while others say it came from a lab. 

This gave people room to speculate and create theories based on stereotypes.

Suddenly, stereotypes went from Asian food contains cats and dogs to Asian food is unsanitary and contains bats. 

From there, theories continued when racist language was used daily by influential people. 

One example is when former President Donald Trump called COVID-19 the “Chinese virus.” 

This placed the blame for the pandemic on Chinese individuals which further fueled the hatred towards Asian Americans. 

It was already a problem that the U.S. government recognized.  

The FBI acknowledged when the pandemic first started that hate crime incidents against Asian Americans were likely to surge across the U.S. 

However, people like former President Trump thought it was okay to take it a step further and publically make racists statements. 

People thought, “if the president can do it, then why can’t I?” So they did. 

It also doesn’t help that Americans are very uneducated about Asia in general. 

There are a lot of misconceptions about Asia. The main two are that Asia is a country and all Asian individuals look  the same 

First , Asia is a continent. And second, to say all Asian people look the same is blatant racism. 

However, because of this lack of knowledge, every Asian American became even more susceptible to discrimination, harassment and violence. 

A combination of all of these are what caused the increase in Asian American hate crimes in the U.S.

While the damage has already been done, Asian Americans deserve apologies. By apologies, I don’t mean saying sorry. 

Americans need to change the narrative around COVID-19. 

Public figures need to publicly say that Asian individuals aren’t to blame for the pandemic for the hate crimes to decrease.

In a time where we are all divided, discrimination against Asian Americans can’t be tolerated. 

We must stand together as one to get over the pandemic no matter your ethnicity.