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  • The Asian population in the U.S. grew by 72% between 2000 and 2015, making it the fastest-growing ethnic group in the country, according to the Pew Research Center.

    The Asian population in the U.S. grew by 72% between 2000 and 2015, making it the fastest-growing ethnic group in the country, according to the Pew Research Center. | Photo: EFE

Published 30 March 2020

The FBI noted there has already been a surge in reports of hate crimes and lists a series of incidents from Los Angeles to New York to Texas.

The United States Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) warned of an increase in hate crimes against Asian-U.S nationals as the novel coronavirus pandemic continues to spread across the country, according to a new analysis obtained by ABC News Friday.

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Xenophobia and Racism Spreads As Coronavirus Outbreak Continues

"The FBI assesses hate crime incidents against Asian Americans likely will surge across the United States, due to the spread of coronavirus disease … endangering Asian American communities," according to the intelligence report, which was compiled by the FBI’s Houston office and distributed to local law enforcement agencies across the country.

 "The FBI makes this assessment based on the assumption that a portion of the U.S. public will associate COVID-19 with China and Asian American populations."

The bureau noted there has already been a surge in reports of hate crimes and lists a series of incidents from Los Angeles to New York to Texas.

A recent case occurred on March 14 in Texas, in which "three Asian American family members, including a two-year-old and six-year-old, were stabbed … The suspect indicated that he stabbed the family because he thought the family was Chinese, and infecting people with the coronavirus."

"It’s an indication of how serious the problem is. We need to stop dismissing this. It’s easy to dismiss racism when it doesn’t impact you," the National Director of the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans Gregg Orton told ABC News.

The surge in racist or xenophobic attacks parallel the continuous use of the term “Chinese Virus” to refer to the COVID-19 pandemic, a practice started by U.S. President Donald Trump and mimicked by his followers and staff.  

The president has defended his language, explaining that it’s simply a way of reminding people from where the virus emanated. He has also denied the term is racist or that the term maligns people of Asian heritage.

The chairman of Asian-American Studies at San Francisco State University Russell Jeung told USA Today back in February that "if you look at social media and some of the news, it's fear of the 'Yellow Peril' all over again," referring to a term after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941. 

The hysteria has mainly come from the rapid spread of the coronavirus, whose cluster was initially reported on Dec. 31 has been linked to Huanan Seafood Wholesale Market in the central Chinese city of Wuhan. 

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