The Orange County Human Relations Commission found a 19-fold increase in attacks against Asians Americans, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The findings analyzing attacks in 2020 mirrors a statewide report which found a 107% increase in hate incidents against Asians.
“When there are spikes, when there are increases, we have seen an increase locally for anti-Asian hate,” Mary Anne Foo, executive director of the Orange County Asian Pacific Islander Community Alliance, said to the Voice of OC.
Foo says part of the spike can be blamed not only on the pandemic, but the rising anti-China sentiment in national and international politics.
Supervisor Katrina Foley says this sentiment is also reflected in comments made by the public during Board of Supervisor meetings.
“We hear speakers that, in my opinion, that are often making comments that are truly bigoted and connecting COVID with communism,” Foley said. “The public health response to COVID is somehow related to communism and tying it to China. It’s very sad to see that happening. I know that [OC Health Officer Dr. Clayton Chau] has taken the brunt of it, (Board) Chairman [Andrew] Do as well.”
Do told AsAmNews back in July that he’s faced racism during his entire six years on the board, but it has increased of late.
“I think the the language coming from the last administration stoked that fire, legitimized the fringe elements to come out, and and if anything, feel more legitimate,” said Do who is a Republican. “They feel like, hey, maybe these racist thoughts that I have are not so out of the ordinary, if people at the very top talk the way I do.”
The Times reports Black people make up less than 2% of Orange County’s population, but were the most targeted. Asian Americans were the most frequently targeted.
“It really goes without saying that there is a lot of work to be done in our county and across the country,” said Nhi Nguyen, the hate crime prevention coordinator for the Orange County Human Relations Commission.
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