(NBC) — Six of the eight victims in the Georgia spa shooting spree were of Asian descent and while there are still are unanswered questions about the suspect’s motives for the killings, there are intensifying fears of growing discrimination, harassment and physical attacks against Asian-Americans.
Attacks on Asian-Americans as brazen as they are disturbing.
A New York man was beaten as he entered the subway. In California, a woman was grabbed by her hair outside a train station the perpetrator shouting racial slurs.
“It’s wrong, it’s un-American and it must stop,” President Joe Biden said.
A recent analysis by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism found that while hate crimes in 16 of the country’s largest cities declined overall last year, those targeting people of Asian descent rose by almost 150%.
Experts and advocates testifying before Congress Thursday.
“What happens right now and over the course of the coming months will send a message for generations to come as to whether we matter,” Daniel Dae Kim, actor, said.
The website STOP AAPI HATE received nearly 38,000 reports of discrimination harassment and assault from March of last year to February of this year, the majority submitted by women.
“What’s also distributing is that no one is intervening at some of these places, so people can feel like they will literally die while people around them are witnessing this horrific act,” Dr. Michi Fu, clinical psychologist, said.
Dr. Fu said the impacts are physical and mental and affect the Asian-American Pacific Islander community at large.
“You start to wonder if there’s a place for you or your loved ones in society. And so maybe people feel like a hopelessness,” Dr. Fu said.
Health experts encouraging those affected to seek help or support and practice self-care calling on allies to step up.
“If it is safe enough to speak out, please do so because we are, we are really looking at a pandemic of racism,” Dr. Fu said.
Taking action to end one pandemic amid another.