Hate Crime in the US and the Efforts To End Racism

We may be seeing the legacy of the prejudice and racism stirred up by Donald Trump’s administration in the widespread hate crimes committed in the U.S. against Asian Americans. In a country with a large immigrant population, interracial harmony is a serious issue.

Eight people were killed in the shootings that took place in Atlanta, in the southern state of Georgia, including six Asian women, many of Korean descent. The white suspect denied that race was a motivating factor; despite this, the feeling that Asian Americans are facing a crisis has intensified significantly.

There has been a surge of violence and harassment directed at Asian Americans since last spring. One nonprofit organization received about 3,800 reports from March 2020 to February 2021. Of these, 500 were recorded in the first two months of 2021 alone.

In San Francisco, on the West Coast, an 84-year-old man of Thai descent died of his injuries after being assaulted on the pavement by a young man. Japanese overseas diplomatic establishments throughout the United States are warning residents to be vigilant against hate crimes.

At a time when people have endured a lot (in recent times because of COVID-19 lockdowns and unemployment), anger is often directed toward the vulnerable. Even if that were not a factor, hate groups had already begun to gain momentum during the Trump administration.

It has been pointed out that Trump’s labeling of COVID-19 as “the China virus” and repeated attacks on China laid these foundations and amplified animosity toward Asian Americans.

Immigrants have brought diversity and vitality to American society. Former President Barack Obama said that “the basic idea of welcoming immigrants to our shores is central to our way of life — it is in our DNA,” though the U.S. has often been devastated by storms of anti-immigrant sentiment.

In the case of Asian Americans, a sharp increase in Chinese immigrants, who were used as cheap labor at the time of the transcontinental railroad construction and gold rush in the 1800s, was met with animosity that later led to the enactment of the Chinese Exclusion Act.

After the outbreak of war between the U.S. and Japan in World War II, approximately 120,000 Japanese Americans were sent to concentration camps as “enemy aliens.” The U.S. government did not offer a formal apology or reparations until 1988, during the Ronald Reagan administration.

In a statement, Vice President Kamala Harris said, “Racism is real in America and always has been.”

But what is also true is that America has never stopped taking steps forward to try to change that reality. The U.S. should never forget the constant efforts it has made to overcome the discrimination and prejudice that lurk in the depths of people’s hearts.

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