NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Stop Asian hate

Racially motivated hate crimes have been happening often, especially since the beginning of COVID-19. There has been an outrageous amount of Asian hate and discrimination because of the continuous claims that the virus outbreak had a connection to China. Many people said racially insensitive things like referring to COVID-19 as the ‘China virus’, amongst other things that were heavily led back to political figure, Donald Trump. The past year had been filled with racist actions from all over the country, but more recently in Atlanta, Georgia.

There were eight people shot and killed at two spas in Atlanta on March 16, 2021, six of which were Asian women. The man taken into custody for this crime had a sex addiction and claimed the spa attack was meant to “remove temptation.”

This opened a deeper discussion of Asian women being extremely sexualized by American culture. Harmeet Kaur of CNN.com said, “…history of misogyny and stereotypes that are all too familiar for Asian and Asian American women. They’re fetishized and hypersexualized.”

This incident sparked anger in a lot of Asian people all over the country and later led law enforcement to wonder if the motive was a possible racially motivated hate crime.

Community leaders in various areas say that there is fear evoked in a lot of Asian people this past year after racially motivated hate crimes in America skyrocket.

There have been more than double the amount of attacks targeted at Asian people this year compared to last, and many experts say that there were many others that were not reported. There has been a lot of verbal harassment and avoidance, amongst the physical assaults as well.

At a recent Stop Asian Hate protest in Los Angeles County, a white man drove by saying racially insensitive things. This incident was investigated by law enforcement as a potential hate crime. None of the people at the protest reported any injuries, but had a shared experience of discomfort and disappointment in their community.

These specific incidents have gathered a lot of people’s attention to the issue that has been happening for far too long.

The hashtag #StopAsianHate started trending on social media to show support to all Asians being especially affected by this incident.

Social media platforms such as Instagram and Twitter have highlighted some organizations that were created to support the Asian community and end anti Asian prejudice. Many helpful links, articles, and places to donate can be found through this hashtag.

The past year has been monumental for the strides made for racial equality.

It is devastating that lives were lost in order for a discussion to be started on the racial divide in this country. Difficult conversations need to happen in order for change to be invoked into the insensitive society that was created.