Racism is a Virus: Anti-Asian Hate at Its Largest


San Francisco’s Chinatown, where multiple accounts of anti-Asian attacks were reported. Photo courtesy of Unsplash.

84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee from San Francisco was shoved to the pavement on his peaceful morning walk and passed just two days after. 61-year-old Filipino American, Noel Quintana, was slashed across his face with a box cutter so badly he couldn’t talk.

Those were just two of the alarming number of cases of anti-Asian attacks since January 2021. Those were also just a small part of the 3,000+ anti-Asian hate crimes reported by Stop AAPI Hate (Stop Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders Hate) since the pandemic began in March 2020.

On March 16, six Asian women were murdered among the eight killed at the Atlanta spa shooting. At three different spas in Atlanta, six women of Asian descent were living their lives until being shot to death by Robert Aaron Long, who claimed that he was driven by a sex addiction.

However, six of the eight victims were Asian, and seven of them were women. With the rise in anti-Asian crimes, it’s hard to deny these murders as a racially motivated hate crime against Asians.

Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic began, Asians have been targeted with xenophobia and racism. Anti-Asian slurs like “Chinese Virus” and “Kung Flu” or telling one to “go back to their country” have fueled anti-Asian hate immensely and placing the blame of the COVID-19 virus solely on the shoulders of Asian Americans.

Gordon Wong, a 90-year-old Asian American immigrant said, “When the pandemic started, I remember seeing a lot of news about Asians getting spat on and getting beaten just for wearing a mask. And I can never forget Trump coining the term ‘Kung Flu’ and setting the discrimination against Asians on fire. I was terrified for me and my family. I had hoped that this all would die down as the pandemic went on. But prejudice against us did not stop. It became worse.”

Now, Xiaojie Tan, Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, Daoyou Feng, Paul Andre Michels, and Delaina Ashely Yaun are slaughtered and their families broken and mourning.

Asian Americans across the nation are in fear, including the local Hacienda Heights and the surrounding communities. Asians are seeing their people being murdered in broad daylight, wondering if their son, daughter, mother, father or grandparents could be the next victim.

The effects of racism and xenophobia are just as deadly as those of COVID-19. Because the countless anti-Asian attacks were not stopped nor condemned, some individuals saw that as a sign to continue and even use their own twisted ways to enlarge the xenophobia towards Asians.

“Social distancing, masks, and vaccines have been made to stop COVID-19. But where’s the effort to educate people?” said Wong. “Asians are getting assaulted and murdered, and people have been and still are sitting comfortably watching from the sidelines. It’s time to not only stop the virus, but to stop the hate against Asian Americans.”

Know the victims, and remember that we are all human beings, that in this nation, we stand together to end violence and hatred against any human being.

Educate yourself and those around you about the struggles and history of Asian Americans in America and know why and what Asians are fighting for. Fight for them, whether in small or big ways. Fight with them.

It’s time to stand together and stop Asian American hate.