America’s State of Hate


Danielle O’Brien, Staff

Jim Wilson/The New York Times
Image depicts protestors of violence against Asian American

With America already suffering a state of peril due to the COVID-19 pandemic, another unexpected increase in cases has risen: cases of hate crimes. The Asian-American community has especially suffered throughout the pandemic through lack of small business support, as well as an increase in xenophobic hate crimes directly resulting from this pandemic. It is observed that from 2019 to 2020, there has been a dramatic increase in hate crimes directed against the Asian-American community throughout the United States. It is possible that the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the existing xenophobic tendencies and state of hate which lay in America today.

2020-2021 was a rough year for most Americans because of the pandemic, but it has especially affected the Asian-American community. Hate crimes targeted towards the Asian-American community have in fact skyrocketed since the beginning of the pandemic. In 2020 alone, The NYPD reported that hate crimes against the Asian-American community in New York skyrocketed 1,900 percent. Over 2,800 hate crimes towards the Asian-American community were reported between 2019 and 2020. While this has been an ongoing trend in itself within the past, Asian related hate crimes have only been recently brought forth by major media outlets. Only three months into 2021, there have been countless acts of violence committed against the Asian-American community, especially the elderly. In February, for example, a 61 year old Filipino man, Noel Quintana, was slashed across his face with a box cutter on the New York subway, leaving a scar which is still visible today. Videos have surfaced of a 91 year old Chinese man being pushed to the ground as people call for justice for such senseless violence. But the examples of hate crimes against the elderly Asian-American community does not stop there. Attacks against all ethnicities within the Asian community, including Chinese, Thai, Korean, Vietnamese, Filipino and many more groups. These hate crimes could likely be attributed to the stigma which surrounds the Asian community as they are blamed by some for the ongoing pandemic. The former POTUS who described  COVID-19 as the “Kung-Flu” or “China-virus” did not help to discourage this stigma. However, the pandemic could only serve as an excuse for xenophobic Americans to act out on their hatred towards the Asian community. 

Politically the situation is being addressed as President Biden put in place an executive order which condemns the hate crimes and xenophobia being committed against the Asian community. The order, which is available for viewing on, hints to government contribution to this state of hate, stating “The Federal Government must recognize that it has played a role in furthering these xenophobic sentiments through the actions of political leaders, including references to the COVID-19 pandemic by the geographic location of its origin.  Such statements have stoked unfounded fears and perpetuated stigma about Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and have contributed to increasing rates of bullying, harassment, and hate crimes against AAPI persons.”  The executive order further acknowledges the contribution the Asian-American community has given to the United States, denouncing the stigma and blame for COVID-19 which has been inflicted on the community. With Biden’s goal of uniting the country and bringing back the “soul” of America, there is still more work to be done beyond simply denouncing xenophobia. However, it is important to acknowledge that this is a step in the right direction for the White House in how to address issues of discrimination and hate which we are witnessing at this time.

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