Zhang Jie, SUNY Distinguished Professor of Sociology, spoke with WGRZ-TV Channel 2’s Liz Lewin for a March 17 story titled “Anti-Asian Hate Crimes Spike across the United States.”
Zhang, who is also the director of the Buffalo State College Center for China Studies, commented on the recent spate of anti-Asian hate crimes across the country.
Crimes against Asian Americans have risen significantly since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. According to a report by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University (PDF, 2.4 MB), hate crimes against Asian Americans jumped nearly 150 percent between 2019 and 2020 in 16 of America’s largest cities. The March 16 shooting in Atlanta that left eight dead, six of whom were Asian women, is still being investigated for possible racial motivation.
Zhang said that many in the Asian American community are scared.
“I’ve been here for 35 years, and it’s my first time seeing so many things like this happening in this country,” Zhang said in the piece. “Unfortunately, about 4,000 cases happened in just the past one month. That is more than the past 10 years.”
Asian Americans don’t want to be targeted or discriminated against, Zhang said. He’s hopeful this period will pass.
“This is against our core values in this country,” he said.