CAPTION: File photo of San Francisco China town, taken in November 2006. Courtesy: Chmehl/Wikipedia CC BY 3.0
In May 2020, New York City officials created an anti-Asian harassment task force due to skyrocketing reports of discrimination following the onset of the pandemic. In the months following incidents of racism continue to rise, prompting activists, politicians, and celebrities to call out the hate crimes via social and traditional media outlets.
CNN is reporting several violent attacks on elderly Asian Americans in San Fransisco’s Bay Area in recent weeks, prompting Alameda County to assemble its own special response unit focusing on violent acts directed toward Asians, especially seniors.
On January 28, 84 year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee, originally from Thailand, died after being attacked while on a morning walk. San Francisco District Attorney Chesa Boudin says a 19-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and elder abuse in connection to the case.
Earlier this month, actors Daniel Dae Kim and Daniel Wu teamed up to offer a $25,000 reward for tips in connection to a video of an unidentified person shoving a 91-year-old man in Okland’s Chinatown district.
“The skyrocketing number of hate crimes against Asian Americans continues to grow, despite our repeated pleas for help,” Kim said on Twitter.
“The crimes ignored and even excused. Remember Vincent Chin,” he added, referring to the 27-year-old Asian activist who was murdered in a hate crime in 1982.
Chin’s killers, Ronald Ebens and Michael Nitz, pleaded guilty to manslaughter but did not spend any time in jail.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau swiftly denounced the rising discrimination, condemning “all forms of racism, discrimination, intolerance, and bigotry.”
In the U.S., the Biden administration recently signed an executive order denouncing the discrimination hurled at Asian American and Pacific Islander communities since the start of the pandemic.
Pew research from June suggests close to a third of Asian Americans have been subjected to racist slurs since COVID-19 began to spread around the world.