LOS ANGELES – The significant increase of hate crimes against Chinese Americans and Muslims in Los Angeles and other cities in California has caused a big concern by Asian Americans Advancing Justice-LA.
The Los Angeles County Human Relations Commission Thursday released its 2015 Hate Crimes Report. After a seven-year downward trend, hate crimes in Los Angeles County jumped 24 percent in 2015 (from 390 to 484 cases). Statewide, hate crimes also increased in 2015, but by only 10 percent.
According to the report, hate crimes increased across most categories (race, sexual orientation, gender, religion).
This included crimes targeting members of the Asian American community. The number of crimes targeting Asian Americans tripled from 6 to 18, most of those targeting persons of Chinese descent.
The number of reported anti-Muslim crimes rose from 3 to 19, with most occurring after terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino.
Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Los Angeles said in a statement as a civil rights organization, Advancing Justice-LA has a long history of advocating for the victims of racial hate crimes and their families.
“We are troubled to see seven years of declining hate activity reversed last year, and in particular to see a jump in both anti-Muslim and anti-Chinese hate crimes. At the same time, we are not necessarily surprised. History has taught us that global events and political rhetoric directly impact hate activity,” the statement said.
“In 2015, we witnessed rising hostility towards China on trade and economic issues and the tragic attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, as well as presidential campaign rhetoric that both targeted China as an enemy and demonized Muslims as a community,” said the statement.
“We are fearful that the escalation of both dynamics in 2016 will lead to a continued surge in anti-Chinese and anti-Muslim hate activity. We urge our community to be vigilant of such attacks and to report any suspected hate crimes to law enforcement,” the statement concluded