“But I do want to say to our Asian American community, we stand with you and understand how this has frightened and shocked and outraged. … None of us should ever be silent in the face of any form of hate.”Vice President
More than 10,000 anti-Asian incidents have been reported across the United States since the COVID-19 pandemic began, according to Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition that tracks and responds to racially motivated hate crimes toward Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI).
While recent attacks have garnered national attention, incidents ranging from verbal harassment to physical assault and murder are not a new problem for many people of AAPI descent.
Asian Americans have been regularly scapegoated during periods of national duress, according to comprehensive reporting from The Harvard Gazette.
As early as 1871, a Los Angeles mob attacked and murdered 16 Chinese people in Chinatown. The incident was a precursor to growing anti-Asian sentiment that would eventually lead to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882.
During World War II, about 120,000 Japanese Americans were forced into internment following the attack on Pearl Harbor. After the Vietnam War, Southeast Asian refugees faced discrimination and hate. And in Highland Park, in 1982, a Chinese American man named Vincent Chin was beaten to death in a vicious hate crime.
Even AAPI men, women and children who have not been directly impacted can be affected by the trauma surrounding these and more recent incidents. The Asian American Health Initiative offers a range of resources to address the mental health impact on these populations.