By Marivir R. Montebon
New York – The pandemic has played up the ugly head of racial hate on Asians with the surge of Asian race-related crimes lately. A Filipino organization condemned the mass shooting in Atlanta which killed eight people in two Asian spas Tuesday. The Filipino Voter Empowerment Project in a press release condemned the shooting which appeared to be a targeted anti-Asian hate crime.
The FVEP press release read: “While there is no official motive known at this time, it would appear that this is yet another anti-Asian hate crime, as six of the eight people murdered were AAPI and the two locations targeted were Asian spas. In the past year, we have seen a dramatic uptick in AAPI hate crimes, with 3,800 incidents, most of them against women.
We have seen our communities scapegoated for the COVID-19 virus, and more and more attacks on our elderly. The former President continues to refer to COVID-19 as the “China virus”, despite the many warnings that his language would spark anti-AAPI sentiments, giving license to racists to malign our communities.
The leadership of FVEP once again calls on the public, and on our AAPI brothers and sisters, to report any and all hate crimes to https://stopaapihate.org, as well as to local authorities. From anti-Filipino laws, the Chinese Exclusion Act, and the Japanese internment during WWII, AAPI communities have historically been targeted for violence and oppression in America. We will not be silent. We will not go back.”
FilAm leader and philanthropist Loida Nicolas Lewis added her voice. “I join the President Biden in condemning these violent acts against Asian looking people. The assignation of the virus to Asians as causing Covid 19 is completely senseless. I call on every compassionate and righteous American to speak against hate and prejudice and condemn these acts of violence against Asians in particular and against people of color in general.”
With spate of anti-Asian hate crimes, the human rights office of NYC intensified its campaign to report these crimes. NYC human rights commissioner Carmelyn Malalis issued a statement urging the public to report crimes to her office.
During an anti-hate crime rally in March, Mayor de Blasio said racial hate crimes will be punished with the full extent of the law. # (Feature collage: Noel Quintana, a Filipino living in Queens, NY was slashed in the face while on the subway in February 2021; two Asian-owned spas were massacred in Atlanta, killing eight people March 16, 2021; NYC anti-Asian hate crime rally on February 27, 2021.)