Attacks on Asians in 16 of America’s largest cities soared by an unprecedented 164% during the first quarter of 2021, continuing a spike that had been sparked by the coronavirus pandemic last year, police data show.
The dramatic increase follows a similar spike in major U.S. cities last year and comes as the administration of President Joe Biden has taken steps to curb the violence that activists say was partly fueled by former President Donald Trump’s inflammatory rhetoric about the virus’s China origins. The U.S. House of Representatives is taking up legislation passed by the Senate last week that would create a new Justice Department position dedicated to tackling the problem.
The police data, compiled by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, and provided to VOA, show that police departments investigated a total of 95 attacks on Asian Americans in 16 of the most populous cities in the country during the first quarter of this year, up from 36 during the first quarter of 2020.
The 16 cities studied by the center, which include New York and Los Angeles, the country’s two most populous, account for about 8% of the U.S. population. In the FBI’s latest hate crime data for the United States as a whole, the same 16 cities…