Hate crimes against Asian Americans are on the rise

Hate crimes against Asian Americans are on the rise, with more than 3,000 hate incidents directed at Asian Americans recorded since the start of the pandemic. Major Garrett reports.

Video Transcript

- Hate crimes against Asian-Americans are on the rise. In New York, this weekend, hundreds turned out after racist and violent attacks drew community outrage. They called it The Unite Against White Nationalism March. The issue of Americans attacking Americans fueled by racism has also caught the attention of our Major Garrett. And a Warning, some of the images you're about to see are disturbing.

MAJOR GARRETT: The video is startling. A 91-year-old Asian man in Oakland thrown to the ground. A similar crime in New York City, the victim, an Asian-American woman. And this assault on 84-year-old [? vischer ?] rattana a Thai American who later died from his injuries. More than 3,000 hate incidents directed at Asian-Americans have been recorded since the start of the pandemic. Some violent, some verbal.

- I did feel like it could have escalated.

MAJOR GARRETT: Mari, who asked that we not use her last name, lives in Chicago. In late January, she went for fast food with friends.

- I was filling up my soda cup, and as I touched the dispenser button, I heard a man yell, "the Oriental touched the dispenser. Somebody stop her." So this white man, who I had never seen before in my life, just blamed the entire COVID-19 pandemic on me.

MAJOR GARRETT: Ted Lieu is a Democratic Congressman from California.

TEDD LIEU: All racism is toxic, but this is particularly a stupid racism as well, because there is no evidence that Asian-Americans somehow transmit the virus at any greater rate than any other ethnicity.

DONALD TRUMP: Kung-Flu, yeah.

MAJOR GARRETT: Lou, and the experts we spoke to, attributed at least part of the rise of anti-Asian-American discrimination to the former President's rhetoric.

DONALD TRUMP: With the China virus--

TEDD LIEU: It is a charge Mr. Trump denied.

TEDD LIEU: He is an accelerant. You had, unfortunately, some other elected officials use similar phrases. But certainly, when the leader of the free world uses racist phrases against Asian-Americans, that is not helpful.

- Discrimination against Asian-Americans is the topic of this week's episode of the Debrief With Major Garrett, available Tuesday. And check out The Takeout on Fridays. Find both on Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts.