Hate crimes against Asian Americans have been declining for years. Will the coronavirus change that?
Recently, the FBI warned that hate crimes against Asian Americans are likely to increase as the coronavirus pandemic spreads.While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recognizes that the novel coronavirus probably originated in Wuhan, China, Asian Americans are not responsible for the disease’s emergence or spread. Nonetheless, congressional Democrats have condemned Republican leaders for having made a point of calling the coronavirus the “Chinese Virus,” “Wuhan virus” and the “Kung Flu.” And Asian Americans have been reporting being verbally or physically attacked.Security concerns for Asian Americans have even led to New York’s attorney general launching a hotline for coronavirus discrimination and hate crimes.All this is new. Anti-Asian hate crime has been on the decline for at least the past two decades, and the FBI has not reported any anti-Asian-motivated murders since at least 2003. Will the pandemic upend that progress?The 15-year decline in hate crimes against Asian Americans According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2019, more than 20 million Asian Americans live in the United States. Since 2000, Asian Americans — made up of people with origins of the Far East, Southeast Asia or the Indian subcontinent — have constituted the fastest-growing major racial or ethnic group