Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Within a matter of days, two violent hate crimes targeting Asian Americans and Jews occurred in broad daylight on the streets of New York. A Filipino-American woman on her way to church was attacked, knocked to the ground, and stomped on. The attacker made anti-Asian remarks while pummeling her. Meanwhile, a Hasidic Jewish couple pushing a 1-year-old baby in a stroller was assaulted by a man with a sharp object.
If these were stand-alone incidents, they would be worrisome enough. But they are not. They are indicative of larger trends in America today, and their sources are multiple. Hate and division are on the rise, and two of the principal targets are Asian-Americans and Jewish Americans.
According to a monitoring group, Stop AAPI Hate, there were approximately 3,800 reported hate incidents against Asian Americans during the first year of the pandemic, a significant uptick from the previous year.
Often, these incidents are violent, as evidenced, among others, by the murder of Vicha Ratanapakdee, 84, an immigrant from Thailand living in San Francisco and out for his daily walk; the slashing of a Filipino-American rider on a New York subway; the shoving to the ground of a 91-year-old Asian American in Oakland.
In many instances, the attacks, which appear to be random and without any economic motive, are accompanied by blame for the coronavirus and calls to get out of the United States.
Regarding Jews, the FBI's most recent hate crimes statistics reveal that, of all religious-based attacks, those targeting Jews comprise about 60%, even as Jews constitute 2% of the U.S. population.
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