A Second Virus

A Second Virus

Coronavirus is a virus we’ve all been hearing about for the past 371 days, just over a 

year. But there’s another virus spreading under the surface, infesting in people’s minds. A virus everyone spreads, but no one acknowledges: Hate. Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic started over a year ago, hate sparked like a second virus in all four corners of the world. Many people started taking sides of Trump and Biden and tradition and change. During all this mix up we hardly paid attention to one of the biggest, real issues: The rapid increase in Asian hate crimes.

I started seeing and hearing about these hate crime increases on my social media. Snapchat, TikTok, Instagram, and Twitter were, and still are, outraged about the nearly 1900% increase in anti-Asian crimes. According to multiple sources including New York Times and CNN,  the flare up of Covid appears to be the reason for the rapid increase. People are often targeted based on their age and race, the most common victims being older Asian and Chinese people. 

Don’t believe me? Do a quick Google search, “Asian hate crimes”. Hundreds of articles appear. One incident I read talked about a Chinese-American man walking home from work. He and his attacker exchanged no words, nor even glances, before the man was stabbed in the back without warning. The attacker is facing attempted murder.

The crimes are awful, but that’s not even the worst part. People who speak out about their experiences are often in larger cities with more protection resources which makes it look like these events only happen in large cities. Truth be told, someone is more likely to tell a group of people who have the same or similar experiences than the police. Unless the police witness the event or even multiple of them, they likely won’t believe the victim’s side of the story. Over half of hate crimes go unreported (CNN). 

While verbal attacks and general racism makeup about half of all total attacks, they shouldn’t go unrecognized. Asian-Americans are often told they’re weak, especially the women. They’re called a virus and spat on. They’re told to open their eyes. And I grew up thinking America was for everyone. 

If you’re still reading by this point, you’re likely interested in helping these people get their justice. There are many ways you can help. Start by listening to Asian people about Asian issues, don’t speak over them. Spread their words, say what they say, and give them credit for their words. White people don’t get to decide how Asian people feel about their issues. Another way to help is to read about the attacks. As vile as it is, reading about what’s actually happening can help you grasp a better understanding thus giving you more accurate information. A third way to help is signing and spreading petitions as well as general awareness of the subject. Again, social media is a great place to find information on personal stories from victims. 

We may never know the real cause of the sudden increase in attacks, but it appears to be correlated with the spike of Covid-19. These hate crimes are an awful occurrence and more people need to know about them. There’s tons of information and ways for you to help from the comfort of your couch. Do a Google search and read up on the reports, hop on social media and listen to Asian people on their issues, spread awareness of the situation, and always stand up for your beliefs. Spread help, not hate.

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