Following reports of a rise in violence against Asian-American community, Harrisites share concerns

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This past month, reports of a spike in violence against the Asian-American community have flooded social media and appeared in major news outlets. In recent weeks, many Harrisites have taken to their social media platforms to share their concern about these events. 

Senior Elaine Tsui described the attacks as “scary.” Senior Alvin Zou said, “Seeing all the news and posts on social media about the spike in hate crimes has been distressing especially with seeing or reading descriptions of the different attacks that have occurred and the thought of thinking it could very well happen to someone I know from my community.”

Freshman Sharon Lee shared her thoughts as well. “I hate seeing this spike, and it both angers and worries me,” she said. “I’m upset that there’s so much hate in this world and innocent people are being targeted, and I’m worried that this will continue into the future.”

Although coverage of these events has risen recently, students shared that the Asian-American community has faced racism in many instances prior. Freshman Olivia Wong said she believes “Asian hate crimes have been prevalent…but people were too shy and afraid to voice their opinions.” 

While a wide range of violent acts has been reported, some events stood out to students. Alvin referenced the news of an Asian woman being shoved to the ground by a man in Flushing last Tuesday. The event garnered significant attention as students reposted an Instagram post urging the community to help find the offender. “When I first saw the video [I was] shocked…We live close to Flushing and Townsend is in Flushing so the proximity of the hate crime was definitely frightening to think about,” Alvin said. The assaulter was arrested two days later, but was released “under supervision.”

Some Asian-American students have had personal experiences with racism. Senior Ina Mui shared that a few months ago, her mother was asked if she was Chinese and then told, “Go back to your country.” Ina said, “I remember when she came home and told us what happened, I was so baffled that I laughed. I refused to believe that something that I had only heard from ignorant schoolchildren when I was younger was still being unironically said in 2020, by a grown man, in Queens, New York of all places.” 

Many students have expressed their concerns about these events by reposting informational content on their social media platforms. Olivia said she “repost[s] information on Instagram to help spread awareness.” Sharon, who also said she reposts resources, explained that she uses Instagram to stay informed. “I follow Nextshark on Instagram to keep up with the news and what is going on in the Asian American community.”

Although there have been a considerable amount of resources made available on social media, some students shared that these attacks have not received enough sustained coverage in larger news outlets. Sophomore Leanna Jiang said, “I wish the prominent media channels [were] more eager and involved with reporting the recent spike in hate crimes against AAPI (Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) because currently, the majority of the support comes from within the AAPI community (i.e. celebrities, politicians, organization leaders, etc.).” 

Ina shared a similar sentiment and said, “I’m glad that the media is covering these stories, but I feel like more could be done. The hate crimes directed at the Asian American community [have] been widely ignored by most people because they don’t hear about these stories as much as they are happening.” 

Photo by Nikki Ng, Editor-in-Chief.