Asian Woman Attacked With Chemicals Caught On Tape Adds To Coronavirus Hate Crimes Against Asian Americans
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One of the worse side effects of the coronavirus pandemic has been the rise in xenophobic and racist hate crimes against Asian Americans. Reports of these incidents are arriving as many Asian Americans are putting themselves on the front lines of fighting the virus.
Last month the FBI warned of an increase in hate crimes against Asian American communities. “The FBI makes this assessment based on the assumption that a portion of the US public will associate COVID-19 with China and Asian American populations,” the report read.
Hate Crimes Against Asian Americans Amidst Coronavirus
One of the most upsetting incidents involved a man stabbing a family of three at a Sam’s Club in Texas last month. The suspect allegedly “thought the family was Chinese, and infecting people with the coronavirus,” according to an FBI report. The victims thankfully survived, and the incident is being treated as a possible hate crime.
Then earlier this month, an Asian woman in Brooklyn was assaulted while taking out the trash. According to Buzzfeed, the attacker poured an unknown substance on her, leaving her with chemical burns on her face, neck, shoulders, and back. The NYPD tweeted video of the suspect (above), asking for any information.
The LA Times also reports an incident in which a man stepped close to the victim on a sidewalk and coughed in their face, saying “take my virus.” Some Asian Americans are even worried about wearing face masks in public, fearing it will make them targets for attacks.
Asian Americans Are On The Front Lines Of The Pandemic
NBC News reports that Asian American businesses, such as Chinese restaurants, also saw a drop in customers as high as 80 percent even before Americans began taking social distancing more seriously.
Evan Gerstmann of Forbes points out the irony of these increased attacks and distrust, as Asian Americans are on the frontlines of fighting the coronavirus. Seventeen percent of doctors and almost 10 percent of nurses in the United States are of Asian descent.
Two of the people behind one of the most promising efforts to develop a vaccine are Eun Kim and Shaohua Huang of the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Gerstmann points out that the CEO of Zoom, which is helping people stay connected amidst the pandemic, is Eric Yuan, originally from China.
Gerstmann expressed his hope that May’s Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month would find people acknowledging the contributions of Asian Americans at this difficult time, rather than “scapegoating” them.