Anti-Asian sentiment has emerged again during the pandemic. The Centre for the Study of Hate and Extremism, a think-tank, found that whereas, overall, hate crimes dropped by 7% from 2019 to 2020, those against people of Asian descent rose by nearly 150%. Similarly, the Pew Research Centre, a pollster, reported in June 2020 that roughly two-fifths of Americans said that people expressed racist views about Asians more often than before the pandemic. Many fault Donald Trump for emboldening people to act upon their prejudices.
Perpetrators often target Asian women. Stop AAPI Hate, a coalition of Asian advocacy groups, received 3,795 reports of anti-Asian incidents between March 2020 and February 2021- most of them from women. The incidents ranged from verbal harassment to being spat upon, a particularly vile act during a pandemic caused by a virus that spreads through respiratory droplets. The report contends that these are “only a fraction” of the incidents that have actually occurred.
犯罪者往往以亚裔女性为目标。亚洲倡导团体联盟“停止仇恨亚太裔(Stop AAPI Hate)”在2020年3月至2021年2月期间收到了3795份关于反亚裔事件的报告，其中大部分来自女性。反亚裔事件五花八门，从口头骚扰到被吐口水。在新冠病毒可以通过飞沫传播的疫情期间，吐口水是一种及其恶劣的行为。报告认定，相对实际发生的事件，这些只是九牛一毛。
On the afternoon of March 17th police officers said that the alleged shooter— Robert Aaron Long, a 21-year-old charged with eight counts of murder and one of aggravated assault— appeared to have been motivated by sexual addiction. Online reviews of the attacked massage parlours indicate that they may have offered sexual services. At a press conference the day after the shootings, authorities said that he had “a bad day”, and saw the spas as a “temptation” that had to be eliminated
But the possibility that his actions were fuelled by racism has not been ruled out. The House Judiciary Committee announced it will hold a hearing on anti-Asian violence on March 18th. Even as a semblance of post-pandemic normality appears on the horizon, fear continues to grip America’s Asian communities.