Photo courtesy of The Mercury News

Asian hate crimes prompt fear, advocacy

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Hate and racism directed towards the Asian American community escalated when the pandemic began spreading. Multiple crimes of physical assault and damage to property occurred, evoking fear in Asian families and furthering advocacy among students.

One assault that raised awareness and sparked outrage was when an 84-year-old Thai man, Vicha Ratanapakdee, was violently shoved onto the floor and killed on a morning walk. Due to the ongoing attacks, many students have feared for not only themselves, but also older family members. 

“It’s sad to hear [about the attacks], especially since I’m Asian,” junior Rui En Li said. “All these recent hate crimes against our elderly made me more reluctant to have my grandparents out and about.”

As cases of assault are being caught on camera every day, especially in California, students continue to share petitions and inform others by reposting on their social media accounts. 

“I try to support the Asian community by informing my family members about what is going on,” sophomore Jennifer Situ said. “I try to bring awareness about this situation through Instagram to show that this is not okay and is not only [hateful], but racist as well. We all need to be and feel supported directly and indirectly, and I want to help the community as best as I can.”

Despite the constant sharing of information and awareness on social media, many students believe that not enough voices are being heard in this ongoing problem. 

“The best solution would be to spread awareness,” freshman Ting Tu said. “Content creators, celebrities—everyone should be spreading awareness, no matter how small or large [their] platform is. Hopefully, the government will take action and find a solution to stop [the] Asian hate crimes.” 

President Joe Biden issued a mandate that prevents discrimination and expands on reports regarding hate incidents against Asians. The Department of Justice will continue to meet with specialists for feedback on data collection, case trends, and outreach efforts. 

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