California Sees Surge in Hate Crimes Against Asian Americans

California has recorded a surge in hate crimes against Asian Americans over the past three months. Between March and June, there were 832 recorded incidents against Asian Americans in the state, according to the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council and Chinese for Affirmative Action. That total includes 81 physical assaults and 64 potential civil rights violations.

Asian American advocacy groups blame xenophobic sentiments surrounding the coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China. They also point to racist statements by President Donald Trump, including his recent jokes about the “Kung Flu” at campaign rallies and his consistent references to the “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus.”

The groups have called on Gov. Gavin Newsom to launch a state task force that would look at ways to enforce anti-discrimination and civil rights laws. In a statement, Newsom’s spokesperson said: “Racism and xenophobia have no place in California — not during a public health emergency when it is essential we come together to support all of our communities — not ever.”