The pandemic has been racialized, increasing the violence and verbal abuse toward Asian-Americans; women especially, according to the Stop AAPI report released Tuesday, are 2.3 times more likely to be a victim of a hate crime. This statistic was demonstrated the same day as the report by the racially motivated murders of 8 people, including 6 women of Asian descent in Atlanta. The deputy, Captain Jay Baker, as the spokesperson for the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, said the suspect had a “bad day,” and that the they “[saw] these locations as a temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate”, steering the motivation away from a racial narrative. Asian women are fetishized and hyper-sexualized; Zhaoyin Feng of BBC Washington, noted that “there’s a myth about Asian-Americans being the quiet ‘model minority’”. Reassigning the temptations of the murderer as not racially motivated is an extreme misjudgment. People of Asian descent were the target, and as such these murders are a hate crime. It needs to be noted that this deputy promoted anti-Asian t-shirts on his Facebook. He is a racist and is in no position to talk about these events.
The 45th President is not the solitary component contributing to the growing racism in the US, however, a great deal of accountability lays at his feet. The ex-President used the terms “Chinese virus”, “Kung flu”, and other terms meant to assign blame during this pandemic. It should not come as a surprise that President sanctioned anti-Asian racism would cause violence. Between March 19, 2020, and February 28, 2021, the non-profit organization, Stop AAPI, received 3,795 reports of hate incidents, with those ethnically Chinese receiving 42.2% of the incidents. Asian-Americans are experiencing a rapid uptick in hate crimes, and it is beyond disturbing to see an obvious hate crime not tried as such; it gives little hope for protecting Asian-Americans from further violence.