How to Understand Anti-Asian Hate Crimes

Since the start of the global pandemic with COVID-19, there’s been over 3,800 reports of anti-Asian hate crimes. And those are only the number reported; undoubtedly there are many more unreported. Anti-Asian sentiment has been a part of American history, notoriously with The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and Japanese internment camps during World War II, plus many violent and discriminatory acts of all kinds.

It’s not easy to be Asian American; it’s not safe to be Asian American.

Some Asian Americans are being vocal voices on social media and mainstream media to explain the racism and sexism with the Atlanta massacre, and the increased xenophobic racism during the past year, that’s only a tip of the iceberg. There are many other Asian American voices not being expressed, because they don’t use social media, don’t have digital access, or a myriad of other reasons. Just making a note that many more Asian American voices could be vocal and need to be heard.

And yet, there are many Americans, both non-Asian and Asian, that do not understand the enormous gravity of these hate crimes. Those who have to repeatedly advocate and explain are tired and exhausted, seriously over-tired. Please don’t ask questions and make people explain to you, when there are plenty of resources online to learn from. Now, I know, when some people that hear there are so many resources, they’re paralyzed and don’t know where to start. Let me help.

Learn More about Anti-Asian Hate Crimes

Here are some select resources to share and get a quick start on understanding and learning—

3 Reasons Why the Atlanta Massacre was Racially Motivated (Richard Lee, Asian American Christian Collaborative)

Why the Atlanta shootings are an Racist Act – explainer video by Daniel Yang

EXPLAINER: Why Georgia attack spurs fears in Asian Americans (AP News) – report Asian hate incidents here – one-stop info site about the #StopAsianHate movement

  • Read about the current crisis of anti-Asian hate and violence
  • Raise awareness by sharing information with the media and your circle
  • Commit to anti-racist action by volunteering at, donating to, and advocating

APISAA Therapist Directory – Asian, Pacific Islander, and South Asian American (APISAA) Therapist Directory @ Asian Mental Health Collective

Asian American Christian Collaborative – with local churches and organizations in Atlanta + Chicago + Houston + Los Angeles + Maryland + New York City, organizing prayer rallies on March 28th to Stand for AAPI Lives #StandForAAPILives

How the Atlanta Massacre was Racist

Others have explained it far better than I have. Here are my words to explain succinctly why people do see the shootings as obviously racist—

In short, the difference is embedded in how people see the world. Individualistic people with a low context tend to see these shootings as isolated events to an isolated individual who made a personal choice; while collectivistic high-context people will see these shootings as being a result of a person who made his choices based on internal and external influences. And that is why some people see the shootings as an racial act.