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First Quarter of 2021 Sees Increase of 169% in Anti-Asian Hate Crimes, Police Data Say

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    Recent police data, compiled by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, have shown an increase in anti-Asian hate crimes for the first quarter of 2021 by up to 169%.

    The data compiled all the police reports of anti-Asian hate crimes from 15 of the most populous cities in the U.S. during the first quarter, and compared it to the information gathered from the same period last year, according to NBC News.

    There were 86 reports of anti-Asian hate crimes from these 15 cities, which is 169% more than the 32 incidents reported from the first quarter of 2020.

    “These preliminary data show that in those large cities with the longest history of collecting anti-Asian reports, there are elevated or increasing levels of hate crime extending well into 2021,” director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, Brian Levin, said. “We already have more hate crimes in the first quarter of 2021 in these cities than in all of pre-pandemic 2019. And in some, more than all of 2020.”

    New York, which 14.5% of its over 8.3 million population are from the AAPI community, accounted for the highest rates of anti-Asian hate crimes at 42 for the first quarter. The city saw a 223% increase, compared to the 13 reports from the same period in 2020, Voice of America reported.

    San Francisco also saw an increase in hate crimes by 140% this first quarter with 12 reported cases than last year’s five.

    Meanwhile, Los Angeles, which 11.6% of its 3.9 million population are AAPIs, saw an 80% increase of reported crimes against Asians in the first quarter compared to last year’s nine cases.

    Washington and Harris County, Texas, reported six and five cases of Asian hate crimes this first quarter, respectively. These two areas have had no cases logged from 2020.

    Asian American activists attributed Trump’s constant use of “China virus” and “kung-flu” to the rise of hate against Asians in the country.

    “The damage has already been done,” said Stephanie Nguyen, executive director of the non-profit group Asian Resources Inc. “I can’t erase what he said. None of us cannot hear what he said and block it out of us.”

    Some cities, including Philadelphia, Miami and Tampa, Florida, and Cleveland, reported zero hate crimes for the first quarter of 2021.

    Featured Image via Elvert Barnes (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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