THEi of the eight people who died at spas in Atlanta on Wednesday, six of them were Asian women. Police say it is too early to know if the suspect was motivated by racial hatred, focusing instead on the idea that massage parlors were a “temptation for him that he wanted to eliminate.”
This, of course, ignores the possibility that someone may be motivated by racial hatred. Y sexism.
Unfortunately, most statistics assume the same. Hate crime data that the FBI collects is often classified according to a single motivation (such as religion, sexual orientation, race / ethnicity, gender identity). Less than 3% of the hate crimes reported in 2019 were multiple biases.
The reality is obviously much more complex than these numbers capture. Many of the victims of Wednesday’s attack were Asian. Y women Y possibly sex workers (the police have long identified spas as places where sex work and possible sexual exploitation occurred regularly). These events cannot be dealt with in isolation.
Things get even more complicated when you consider reporting rates. A person’s race and gender identity will affect the likelihood that they will report a hate crime to the police. This is particularly true of sex workers, whose work is still heavily criminalized in the United States.
So what numbers do we have left? Instead, we could look at data on violent victimization that is not specifically motivated by hate. It is imperfect as it includes robberies and muggings.
TO study published earlier this year attempted to use a different dataset, the National Incident Reporting System (NIBRS), to take a closer look at anti-Asian hatred.
The authors found that hate crimes against Asian Americans are more likely to be committed by non-white offenders than hate crimes against Black Americans or Hispanics. They attribute this to the “model minority” stereotype that inspires the animosity of other people of color. They also found that hate crimes against Asians are more likely to occur at school and found the same explanation for this difference.
Lastly, we could look for data collected by organizations that have a closer connection to the Asian community.
From March 2020 to February 2021, 3,795 Hate incidents against Asians were reported to Stop AAPI Hate, a nonprofit organization that tracks discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. They found that verbal harassment (68%) and rejection (21%, meaning the deliberate avoidance of Asian Americans) were the two largest types of reported incidents. Reports showed that discrimination was occurring in all kinds of contexts: business (35%), streets / sidewalks (25%), and online (11%).
Anti-Asian hatred has been fueled by Donald Trump’s repeated insistence on referring to Covid-19 as the “China virus.” This language reappeared in many of the incidents reported to Stop AAPI Hate, for example, a woman who was approached by two male neighbors who “approached me threateningly on the street, lowered the corner of their eyes and said:” Go back to Wuhan. , bitch, and take the virus with you! ‘”
Another report from a woman in Brooklyn reads: “A white man called me, then aggressively followed me down the block, got close to my face and yelled ‘Ch * nk! “and” C * nt! “after I realized I was Asian. Many neighbors were standing outside their houses and no one intervened.”
These narratives make it clear that any attempt to separate sexism and racism is pointless.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism