Note from the Editor: To keep our online blog more dynamic, we will be focusing on two sources for stories. The first will be an aggregation of up-to-date articles relevant to AAPI policy, gathered from news outlets across the web. The second is original, student-written content on AAPI policy issues — a bit more intermittent, but important and thoughtful as always.
Re-posted from NPR.
After years of declining numbers, hate crimes against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders are rising exponentially. A report from the Los Angeles County Commission on Human Relations found that crimes targeting Asian-Americans tripled in that county between 2014 and 2015. In addition, the FBI found that the number of hate crimes against Muslim communities rose dramatically between 2014 and 2015 (67 percent). That’s the biggest increase of any other group listed in the Hate Crimes Report. However, national statistics on hate crimes against people who fall under the AAPI label are still scanty.
Two days before the inauguration, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, a civil and human rights nonprofit, launched a website to rectify the issue. The website, standagainsthatred.org, documents hate incidents and crimes against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders by tracking stories about hate incidents received from people around the country. The stories are vetted by AAJC staff and posted anonymously.
“We’ve always recognized that hate incidents have been an issue,” said AAJC Executive Director John Yang. “We realized that we really needed a better tracking tool.”
Documented hate crimes against Asian-Americans extend as far back as the 1800s, when the white supremacist group Arsonists of the Order of Caucasians murdered four Chinese men whom they blamed for taking away jobs from white workers. The men were tied up, doused with kerosene and set on fire. In 1987, a Jersey City, N.J., gang calling itself the “Dotbusters” vowed to drive Indians out of Jersey City by vandalizing Indian-owned businesses. The gang used bricks to bludgeon a young South Asian male into a coma.
In a headline-grabbing case, two men from Queens, N.Y., were charged with a hate crime for attacking four Asian men, including one left with a possible fractured skull in a then-predominantly white neighborhood. “There’s an undercurrent of suspicion of the new immigrant — what are they doing, what are they building, what are they putting in that store?” Susan Seinfeld, the district manager of Community Board 11, told The New York Times at the time.
In recent years, law enforcement bias has also surfaced: In 2014, video footage showed a New York Police Department cruiser running over and killing 24-year-old Japanese-American student Ryo Oyamada. The court later ruled in favor of the police department, stating that the incident was unavoidable. In January of this year, a 60-year-old Chinese-American man playing Pokémon Go in his car at night was shot and killed by a security guard in Chesapeake, Va. The guard was charged with murder.
To read the entire article, check out the original post here: http://www.npr.org/sections/codeswitch/2017/02/17/515824196/first-ever-tracker-of-hate-crimes-against-asian-americans-launched