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Genocide Watch condemns hateful attacks on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Former President Trump repeatedly characterized the COVID-19 pandemic as the “Chinese Virus” and “Kung Flu” and encouraged his supporters to use these racially offensive terms. Following former President Donald Trump's anti-Chinese rhetoric, the Asian American community has experienced a 150% increase in racially motivated attacks, with over 3,700 reported hate incidents since January 2020.
Equating diseases with national, ethnic, religious or racial groups is a tactic of dehumanization. Viruses have no nationality. They have no ethnicity. Viruses are the common enemies of the whole human race.
Underlying harassment and hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is the toxic fetishization and hypersexualization of Asian women. Fetishization is the act of imagining things, persons, or groups as sexualized objects based on stereotypes or fantasies. It is often masked as flattery. Asian American and Pacific Islander women are sometimes fetishized as “submissive” and “servile”. They are therefore attractive to men who feel a compulsion to dominate women.
Six of the eight victims killed in the recent Atlanta shootings were women of Asian descent. The attacks resulted from the intersection of racism and sexism often experienced by Asian women. This racialized form of misogyny makes Asian women particularly vulnerable to violence.
Genocide Watch considers harassment of and discrimination against Asian American and Pacific Islander communities to be indicators of Stage 3: Discrimination and Stage 4: Dehumanization. Former President Trump’s continued use of racial slurs in referring to Covid-19 and the resulting hate crimes perpetrated by racist individuals against Asian Americans are evidence of Stage 6: Polarization in America.
In order to prevent hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, Genocide Watch recommends the following:
States should strengthen their hate crimes statutes and prosecute those who violate them.
State justice departments should use disaggregated data to monitor hate crimes against minorities.
U.S., state, local, and church leaders should denounce hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
The racism motivating hate crimes must be made culturally unacceptable.
Local, state, and federal law enforcement departments should improve police training against racially motivated crimes.
Police officers need to become self-conscious about their own biases when dealing with crimes against women and minorities.
Racial profiling of minorities must stop.
U.S., state, local, and church leaders should create public campaigns to encourage reporting of racial harassment and hate crimes.
The public should be taught safe tactics for bystander intervention to prevent hate crimes.
States should develop rehabilitation programs for perpetrators of sexual violence and abuse.