Attacks Put Focus On Anti-Asian Hate

This week's deadly spa shootings and Congressional hearing have put a new focus on a recent rise in anti-Asian hate incidents. NBC's Sarah Dallof reports.

(NBC News) — Six of the eight victims in this week’s Georgia spa shooting spree were of Asian descent…and while there are still are unanswered questions about the suspect’s motives, the killings are intensifying fears of growing discrimination, harassment and physical attacks against Asian-Americans.

A recent analysis by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism found that while hate crimes in 16 of the country’s largest cities declined overall last year, those targeting people of Asian descent rose by almost 150-percent.

Experts and advocates testified before Congress Thursday.

“What happens right now, and over the course of the coming months, will send a message for generations to come as to whether we matter,” actor Daniel Dae Kim told lawmakers.

The website “Stop AAPI Hate” received nearly 3,800 reports of discrimination, harassment and assault from March of last year to February of this year.

The majority were submitted by women.

“What’s also distributing is that no one is intervening at some of these places, so people can feel like they will literally die while people around them are witnessing this horrific act,” says clinical psychologist Dr. Michi Fu.

Dr. Fu says the impacts are physical and mental…and affect the Asian-American Pacific Islander community at large.

“You start to wonder if there’s a place for you or your loved ones in society,” she says.

Health experts encourage those affected to seek help or support and practice self-care..and are calling on allies to step up.

“If it is safe enough to speak out, please do so because we are, we are really looking at a pandemic of racism,” Dr. Fu urges.

Read more here.