APPLETON, Wis.(WFRV)- Violent attacks on members of the Asian Community are increasing nationally. One of the latest involved a 75-year-old woman who said she was attacked by a man while walking on a San Francisco street. “The woman said that she was hit, attacked from behind,” said Dennis O’Donnell who witnessed the incident. The woman reportedly fought back alleged attacker sending him to the Hospital.
On Tuesday, there were multiple shootings in the Atlanta area at Spa locations. Eight people were killed, six of the victims were of Asian descent. Several Georgia Democratic lawmakers of Asian descent held a press conference at the state Capitol to denounce crimes against members of the Asian community, including the recent killings at Atlanta-area massage parlors. State Rep. Sam Park said Asian Americans over the past year have experienced a “surge” in attacks due to “racist political rhetoric and scapegoating.” Authorities have charged Robert Aaron Long with eight counts of murder.
Here in Northeast Wisconsin, there are no official statistics on hate crimes involving the Asian Community, but a report release last year for 2019 shows 8,552 hate crimes reported in Wisconsin. Of those incidents 57.6% were racially motivated. The numbers for 2020 won’t be officially released until the middle of this year, but in the meantime the local Hmong Community is on alert.
Kou Vang, President of the Hmong American Partnership Fox Valley, says that he feels safe within his community of Appleton, but when traveling to other areas, he feels uneasy. “Outside of Appleton, I do feel vulnerable,” said Vang. There is a huge concern for the elderly in the community it seems that they are more likely to be attacked. “It mainly impacts our elderly. Number one, they don’t understand the language and number two, due to the language barrier it is more difficult for them,” said Vang.
The White House says President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris plan to meet with Asian American community leaders in Georgia in the wake of this week’s deadly shootings at three Atlanta-area massage parlors. The pair were already scheduled to travel Friday to Atlanta to tout the $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill, but the trip took on new meaning after the shootings.