What to Do with Hate Crimes against Asian Americans?
Since the Covid-19 pandemic, hate crimes against Asian Americans have been on the rise, as shown by a recent report by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino: crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) jump by 145%. Across the United States, incidents of attacks on immigrants or people of Asian descent are raising concerns. For instance, an 84-year-old Thai immigrant in San Francisco dies after being pushed to the ground; a 61-year-old Filipino-American is slashed in the face with a box cutter on the New York subway; an 89-year-old Chinese woman is slapped and then set on fire in Brooklyn, New York; Robert Aaron Long fatally shoots eight people, including six Asian women, at spas in Atlanta, Georgia -- and the list goes on. Verbal harassments or racial slurs are widely reported (following the name-calling effect of “China virus” and “Kung Flu”), but few charges are brought against the aggressors with hate crimes.
As a result, protests take place in major cities across the country: Atlanta, Seattle, New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Philadelphia, Honolulu, and Los Angeles, etc. And many community leaders are engaged in discussions about the hate crimes against Asian Americans. Don Lee, a community activist in New York, calls for more anti-Asian attacks to be identified as hate crimes: “Let’s call it what it is. These are not random attacks.” The debate over what legally constitutes anti-Asian hate crimes further reveals that the law is yet to account for ways in which Asian Americans encounter racism. Crime and punishment, policing and investigation and other coercive mechanisms may not be sufficient to stop some people from scapegoating Asian Americans. Antiracism or cultural competency education plays a key role in the public’s ability to reflect on or become conscious of their own prejudice or bias. Educational or reformation institutions can work alongside national/local leaders and influencers to raise awareness about the pitfall of racism.
President Joe Biden signs an executive action banning the use of racist language within the federal government during his first week of presidency. He further issues guidance on how to respond to the increased number of anti-Asian incidents, and stresses the importance of stopping hate in his first national prime-time address on April 1, 2021: White House outlines “a plan of action that includes federal, state and local law enforcement training on handling hate crimes, establishing a committee within the COVID-19 Equity Task Force to address xenophobia against Asian people, and allocating $49.5 million to fund community-based services for Asian or Pacific Islander survivors of sexual and domestic violence.” Lawmakers and activists are also calling for more attention and resources to address the issue. California congresswoman Judy Chu, chair of the Asian Pacific American Caucus, and other legislators are urging for the US Department of Justice to “expand efforts to report, track and prosecute hate crimes.” With collaborations at local, state, and federal levels, a holistic approach to fighting racism against Asian Americans may just intervene and correct some aberrant minds.
由于Covid-19流行病侵袭，针对亚裔美国人的仇恨罪犯一直在增加，如圣贝纳迪诺加利福尼亚州立大学仇恨与极端主义研究中心最近的一份报告所显示：“针对亚裔美国人和亚太美人（AAPI）的罪犯事件大幅增加了145％。” 在美国各地，袭击移民或亚裔美人的事件引起了人们的关注。例如，旧金山的一名84岁的泰国移民被推倒在地后死亡。纽约地铁上，一名61岁的菲律宾裔美国人被人用刀将其砍倒。一名89岁的中国妇女在纽约布鲁克林区被打了耳光、然后纵火焚烧。罗伯特·亚伦·朗（Robert Aaron Long）在乔治亚州亚特兰大的温泉浴场枪杀了包括6名亚裔女子在内的8个人。口头骚扰或种族侮辱处处可见（前任川普总统之“中国病毒”和“功夫流感”的名号产生极大的负面效应），但很少有人对仇恨罪的侵略者提起诉讼。
在仇恨罪犯累累的同时，人们也在全美主要城市进行抗议活动：亚特兰大、西雅图、纽约、华盛顿特区、芝加哥、费城、檀香山和洛杉矶等。许多社区领袖都在讨论针对亚裔美人的仇恨罪犯相关之议题。纽约人士唐·李（Don Lee）呼吁将更多的反亚裔人袭击案定为仇恨罪犯：”这些不是意外，而是仇恨罪犯。“ 关于什么是法律上构成反亚裔人仇恨罪的辩论进一步显示：法律尚未针对亚裔美国人遭遇种族主义的各种情况来加以制裁。罪犯和惩罚、维持治安和调查程序等等以及其他强制性机制可能不足以阻止某些人歧视仇恨亚裔美人的心态和举止。反种族主义或文化能力之教育在公众反思或意识到己身的偏见的能力来说实是具有关键作用。教育或改革机构可以与国家/地方领导人和有影响力的人一起工作，以提高对种族主义陷阱的认识。
拜登总统在任职的第一周签署了一项行政措施，禁止在联邦政府内部使用种族主义语言；他进一步发布了有关如何应对日益增多的反亚裔事件的指南，并在2021年4月1日的首次全国黄金时段演讲中强调了制止仇恨的重要性：白宫也概述了“一项包括联邦政府在内的行动计划，以便执行仇恨罪犯之d州政府和地方执法人员的培训，在COVID-19公平工作组内成立委员会以解决针对亚裔人的仇恨心理，并拨款4,950万美元，为亚裔人或太平洋岛民提供社区的反暴力服务。” 立法者和积极人士也呼吁社会投入更多关注和资源来解决这个问题。加利福尼亚国会女议员 -- 亚太裔美国核心小组主席朱迪·朱（Judy Chu）和其他议员正致力于敦促美国司法部“扩大举报、追踪和起诉仇恨罪犯。” 通过地方、州政府和联邦政府各级的合作，采用整体方法来打击种族歧视、治理对亚裔美人的仇恨罪犯行为 -- 但愿社会将得以干预并纠正一些人偏激和异常的想法！