Daniel Dae Kim & Daniel Wu speak out on the rise of hate crimes against Asian people

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We have lost over 470,000 people to COVID in the United States, but those are not the only victims of the racist and murderous Trump administration. Because Trump continually called COVID “The China Virus” and emboldened domestic terrorists, there has been a substantial uptick in hate crimes against Asian-Americans. Between just March and May of 2020 over 1,800 hate crimes were committed against Asian-Americans, likely because people were led to believe by Trump that COVID was unleashed purposefully by China. That is not thought to be the case, according to an investigation by the WHO.

Despite the appalling numbers of hate crimes being committed, the national news has failed to highlight them until recently. Over the last month, three different attacks against elderly people in the Asian community were caught on tape in Chinatown in Oakland, CA. The lack of public concern or politicians raising the alarm has led several high profile Asian-Americans to come forward to offer a reward for any information. In an interview with CBS News, Daniel Dae Kim and Daniel Wu offered $25,000 to anyone who can lead authorities to arrest the assailants caught on tape along. They also issued a plea to public officials to bring awareness to this issue. Below is more information from CBS News:

“We’re looking for help from our [district attorneys]. We’re looking for help from our community organizers. We’re looking for help from our legislators and politicians,” Dae Kim told CBSN anchor Elaine Quijano.

More than 1,800 racist incidents against Asian Americans were reported between March and May of 2020, according to a United Nations report. The report linked the violence and other incidents to the coronavirus outbreak, which was first discovered in China.

“This is a growing problem,” Dae Kim said. “These are numbers we’ve never seen before.”

Last month, three violent attacks targeting elderly Asian Americans in Oakland’s Chinatown were caught on video. The incidents prompted Wu and Dae Kim to offer a $25,000 reward for information on the suspect.

“Those of us who have been following these issues since COVID started have seen these kinds of incidents in our news feeds pop up almost daily, and yet we see very little being done about it,” Dae Kim said.

A suspect was arrested Monday in connection with the assaults, according to Oakland Police. Yahya Muslim, 28, was charged with assault, battery and elder abuse among other charges, according to the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.

[From CBS News]

I am very upset about what is going on in America. The blatant racism that was incited by Trump and the Republicans is going to take years to fix. The fact that the Republicans are refusing to right this wrong is even more infuriating. At this point I feel that the Democrats need to take a stand and speak out against this terrorization of a community that has nothing to do with COVID. Just because the virus was found in China does not mean China created it and this needs to be made clear. Where we are right now as it concerns Asian-Americans is reminding me of the first few years after 9/11 when being Muslim was synonymous with being a terrorist (and still is). There was a massive uptick in Islamophobia and hate crimes against Muslim Americans and anyone who looked Muslim or Arab during that time. This also happened again after Barack Obama was elected but this time the target was Black Americans.

At some point we will have to acknowledge that hate against those who are non-white or who are deemed as outsiders in this country has always been a part of the foundation of the United States. It is something that we will have to come to terms with – that this nation was built on and is continually built on terrorism. I am glad they have caught one of the three terrorists in connection with these attacks in Oakland. I am also glad that high profile people like Daniel Dae Kim and Daniel Wu are lending their voices to raise awareness around what is happening to an innocent community in our nation. Hopefully, the other two assailants are tracked down and brought up on charges. And hopefully politicians and other public officials will begin to ring the alarm about what is happening and make sure that it does not continue. The other thing that I hope is that anti-hate crimes laws continue to be passed and more stiffer penalties enacted. A good place to start if anyone is listening is passing that anti-lynching bill that was blocked by Republican lawmakers.


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19 Responses to “Daniel Dae Kim & Daniel Wu speak out on the rise of hate crimes against Asian people”

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  1. Becks1 says:

    I’m “glad” they are doing this – in quotes because I think its sad that they have. These attacks are not getting the responses from politicians that I would expect, and the only people on my social media timelines that I have seen sharing these stories are people of Asian descent.

    As for this line – “we will have to acknowledge that hate against those who are non-white or who are deemed as outsiders in this country has always been a part of the foundation of the United States. ”

    I’m currently reading Caste by Isabel Wilkerson and the way she explains the caste system in the US is really eye opening and yes, we do have to acknowledge how this country was founded and the dominant vs nondominant castes – and until we do that I think we will continue to see crimes like this.

    • Green Desert says:

      I’m so glad you brought up Caste, it’s what I was thinking when I read this article. I haven’t read the book yet but plan to read it soon. The whole “nothing to see here” attitude toward a very clear history of a caste system here has got to be reckoned with soon. This is the foundation our country was built on and has always been an issue. The past four/five years have just made people feel like they don’t have to hide their bigotry anymore.

      Great post, Oya. And yes let’s call these crimes against Asian Americans what they are – domestic terrorism, hate crimes. I’m glad people are speaking out but like Becks1 alluded to, we all need to come together as allies to condemn this. It isn’t just an Asian/Asian American problem.

  2. Astrid says:

    This is heartbreaking

    • Mac says:

      I hope these sh*tbag racists are charged with federal hate crimes on top of the state charges. They’re terrorists trying to intimidate all Asians and should be held accountable for the full scope of their crimes.

  3. Watson says:

    Hate crimes against Asians have increased in my city despite its high Asian population too. It’s especially horrifying because these racists always target the elderly or women. It’s been harder for my Asian friends in American cities though. Trump made it extremely easy for racists to do their thang.

  4. Amy Bee says:

    I hope the person who told me on this site that Asians don’t suffer from racism or it’s not as bad for Asians in the US realises that racism against Asians is bad and on the rise. Racism against all people should be condemned and fought against. Structural racism is such that people are treated differently based on the colour of their skin and Asians are often seen by racists as the good immigrant but it doesn’t mean that they don’t suffer from discrimination and as we’ve seen they are increasingly been the target of racist abuse and attacks.

    • BearcatLawyer says:

      It is also xenophobia. Asian Americans are told time and time again to “go back” where they come from even when they are born and raised in the US for generations.

    • O says:

      I was just thinking about that comment discussion today when I read a similar article. It stuck with me for days. Being married to someone Asian has really taught me I have a lot to learn about ethnic minorities and I am also guilty of many biases. Unfortunately here in Canada racism is also a big problem, as well as a huge problem with prejudice against our own Indigenous people. I’m trying to learn more so that I can be a better Mom and a better educator. We can all do better.

  5. Kate says:

    “Just because the virus was found in China does not mean China created it” NOR does it mean that any Asian Americans are at fault. But I’m sure the perpetrators know this if they are targeting the elderly for their hate.

    • Aang says:

      Even if the virus was manufactured by Chinese scientists it doesn’t mean all Chinese are to blame. I’m sure whatever horrors are being cooked in US labs rival COVID or worse.

  6. BnLurkN4eva says:

    I have been following these developments and I really am sorry for what has happened. There hasn’t been any incidents where I live, but the majority of Asians in my area are South Asians and it seems East Asians are the main target. I freaking hate bigotry and I can’t acclimate myself to the fact that in the 21st century humans still can’t get past the stupidity of othering people based on skin color, nationality, etc. It’s just so darn primitive and I don’t know how we are going to get to all that needs to be accomplish if we are to survive if we can’t get past something this basic.

    One thing that I hope will come from this is that all ethnic minorities will come together and start supporting each other. Your group could be next, you could be next if you are an ethnic minority in these 1st world western so-called Demacracies. If you are someone who is begging the universe to not let the perpetrator of whatever awful act to not be of your ethnicity, or chanting in your head, please let the perpetrator be white, please let the perpetrator be white, then you could be next.

    I am sorry this is happening and will look for opportunities to add my support because as a woman and a POC, I know that not only is that the right thing to do, but I could be next.

  7. Lunasf17 says:

    Ugh this is so awful! Racism is such a huge issue in America and it’s so overwhelming. I’m glad they have a suspect and hopefully this leads to more arrests.

  8. sealit says:

    I’ve said before that I’m part Asian, and maybe about 10% Chinese. I’ve not experienced any outright prejudice or violence (thank you to the CBers who offered bail). But I have noticed more of the looks. I brush it off as well at least it keeps people 6 feet back. But I did stop in to get my hair trimmed at a chain salon because I can’t get in at my regular place. The first available stylist refused to cut my hair. This was after I was already seated in her chair and took off my baseball cap. This past year, humans have just been so disappointing.

    • BnLurkN4eva says:

      I am so sorry that happened to you. I hope you report her to the manager, or at least put something up on their website review section letting people know about your experience. Of course it’s not your responsibility to do anything, but it may help others be aware of what they can expect.

      • sealit says:

        Thank you! I agree with your above comment. Minority groups need to come together. In my experience, we are often the cruelest to each other.

        But happy ending to my haircut. The manager is the one who took care of me and I love the cut, at 1/4 the price of my usual salon. I went back this week and the first stylist’s license was no longer there. If it’s only gone on her day off, I’m okay with her knowing she turned down a customer who tips >100%. It was my Pretty Woman moment.

  9. Stephanie says:

    I’m Southeast Asian (Cambodian + 20% Chinese) and I just wanted to say thank you for putting some attention on this. This past year I’ve been living in fear for myself, my toddler son (who is half Caucasian) and my parents to go out in Public. Initially when I would go out in public, I would wear sunglasses indoor to hide my eyes. I’ve had several “friends” argue with me why using the phrase “China Virus” does not lead to racism. Often times I feel invisible and since we are considered “model minorities” that we shouldn’t “complain”. I’m glad that there are voices for those who feel powerless. So again, thank you for sharing this with others.

  10. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    Thank you for posting this. We don’t hear about racism against Asians often enough, and everyone needs to speak out against it (not just other Asians). We all need to support any group that is a target of hate crimes.

  11. Faye G says:

    Every single Asian-American friend I’ve ever had has experienced multiple racist incidents throughout their lives. And this is in a very liberal corner of the US. I shudder to think about how Asians living in red states are treated. Racism against Asians is and has always been a huge problem, period, not simply because of the pandemic. These criminal scumbags need to be caught and prosecuted ASAP.

  12. O says:

    I didn’t know it was possible to love these Daniels even more. I am so happy to hear them speak out about something so important. And on a shallow note they are sooooooooooo handsome!