As the month of May comes to a close, it is important to highlight current issues surrounding race-based violence, particularly anti-asian violence as it is Asian American and Pacific Islander Awareness month. Additionally, it is crucial to mention the gradual deterioration of mental health amongst Asian Americans as a result of the rampant violence. Though we dedicate this piece to bringing awareness toward relevant issues of violence, this is a subject that must always be kept in mind in order to eliminate the causes and produce solutions.
Generally speaking, just about a third of Asian Americans have developed a fear of race-based threats and physical attacks in recent months. Most Asian Americans also agree that violence against them has risen dramatically. To be more specific, Pew Research Center indicates 81% of Asian Americans say race-based violence is rising and 32% fear future attacks and severe discrimination since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic.
It is important to note that since the start of the pandemic, about 45% of Asian Americans admit they have experienced a particular offensive incident. Conversely, only about 32% of Asian Americans say people have expressed support for them since the beginning of the pandemic. For quite some time now, Asian Americans have been targeted with slurs, insensitive jokes, and foul stereotypes. The falsehoods and negative rhetorics spread throughout the course of the pandemic have significantly worsened treatment toward Asian Americans.
Unfortunately, Asian Americans are currently being used as a scapegoat for the spread of the pandemic and are being directly blamed for the horrible implications of it. Many individuals in positions of power have not taken the necessary steps to help alleviate these issues, certainly not to a significant degree. As a result, attacks of any kind are only perpetuated and normalized. With that said, crowds of people have taken to the streets to protest for social and political change regarding the issue, in an attempt to elicit meaningful change. Though this is a great thing, we must all recognize the mental toll this has taken on the Asian community and work towards providing resources for this as well. If we provide the Asian community with the resources they need while simultaneously striving toward change, the elimination of race-based violence can be anticipated.