Hundreds rallied Sunday in Mineola to oppose a recent spike in hate crimes against the Asian Americans amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
Nassau County Executive Curran said there have been no reported hate crimes targeting Asian-Americans in Nassau, but said such attacks across New York State are “alarming and unacceptable.” Such crimes have been on the rise nationwide since Covid-19 emerged from China.
“For Asian Americans, the past year has been especially difficult and painful,” said Gordon Zhang, president of the Long Island Chinese American Association. “We have been fighting two pandemics: Covid-19 and bigotry. Since the very beginning of the pandemic, anti-Asian hate crimes and violence have surged across the country.”
Noting the country’s history of using minority groups as scapegoats during times of crisis, he compared the treatment of Asian-Americans during the pandemic to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and Japanese internment camps during World War II.
“It is not the 1880s, it is not the 1940s, we are in the year of 2021,” he said. “We cannot have our painful history repeat itself again.”
According to the Asian American Justice Center, there were more than 1,800 incidents of hate directed towards Asian Americans in the United States over an eight week period from March to May of 2020.
“Unfortunately, hatred is alive and well in the United States,” said Nassau County Legislator Josh Lafazan (I-Syosset), who helped organize the rally. “It is obvious to every attendee in today’s events, but the hatred directed toward the Asian American community has turned into shocking and appalling violence, and the statistics are frightening. We are here to affirm to our Asian American neighbors that they belong right here on Long Island and to say that enough is enough.”