Many residents in the District and Maryland staged protests on Sunday against the recently growing racist sentiment and hate crimes targeting the Asian-American community around the nation.
The rallies were organized in response to the March 16 massacre at three Atlanta-area massage parlors, where a white man killed eight people, including six women of Asian descent.
Hundreds of demonstrators, Asian Americans and members of various other communities, came together in McPherson Square in the District on Sunday afternoon, while others gathered in Ellicott City, Maryland.
Dozens took part in a press conference and vigil at the Chinese Culture and Community Service Center in Gaithersburg. The victims of the Atlanta shooting were commemorated at the event.
The groups stood in solidarity with Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the face of the Atlanta incident and similar attacks on the community that have seen a spike since the coronavirus pandemic first broke out in China in early 2020.
A newly released research by Stop AAPI Hate indicated that approximately 3,800 anti-Asian racist incidents were reported from March 19, 2020 to February 28, 2021. The figure was 2,600 last year over the course of five months.
Types of Discrimination reported to the organization during the period of March 2020 – February 2021 is as follows:
- Verbal harassment (68.1 percent) and shunning (20.5 percent) (i.e., the deliberate avoidance of Asian Americans) make up the two largest proportions of the total incidents reported.
- Physical assault (11.1 percent) comprises the third largest category of the total incidents.
- Civil rights violations — e.g., workplace discrimination, refusal of service, and being barred from transportation — account for 8.5 percent of the total incidents.
- Online harassment makes up 6.8 percent of the total incidents.
In 2020, a total of 3,292 incidents occurred, and 503 incidents were reported this year so far, according to Stop AAPI Hate.
Women report hate incidents 2.3 times more than men.