(KGTV) — Videos of attacks on the Asian American community have been throughout the country.
Most recently, several elderly Asian Americans were attacked in the Bay Area. 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee, a native of Thailand, was on a morning walk in the San Francisco area last month when he became the victim of an unprovoked attack. He was violently shoved to the ground and his head slammed the pavement. He later died.
“No one should be attacked and certainly not those in our community who've done so much for us, our parents and our grandparents,” said Manjusha Kulkarni, a co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate and the executive director of the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council.
Stop AAPI Hate has been tracking anti-Asian hate since the beginning of the pandemic. It tracked more than 2,800 incidents from mid-March to the end of December. Kulkarni said it is an astronomical rise compared to the 100 or so incidents tracked yearly from various reporting organizations.
“We know that 2,800 is really just the tip of the iceberg,” Kulkarni told ABC 10News. “We understand tha twhen folks experience something like this, their first instinct is not necessarily to get on their laptop and report an incident online. But we think it's important because it helps us to understand the problem and then begin to find solutions for it.”
Stars like Olivia Munn and Daniel Dae Kim have recently spoken publicly about attacks on the Asian American community.
“These are people that are elderly and often with preexisting conditions who are already afraid to go outside. Now they're fearing for their lives,” Kim told ABC News.
Munn recently posted on social media about the attack on her friend’s mother in New York.
“She left the hospital with 10 stiches in her head,” she wrote. “These racist hate crimes against our elders have got to stop.”
Kirin Macapugay is a commissioner with the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American (APIA) Affairs. The group advises the government on issues affecting the community. This Thursday, the group will hold their first public meeting addressing AAPI hate incidents and crimes. Macapugay said attacks are not always physical.
“I had another friend who was sitting in a parking lot when someone drove by him and tried to spit into his car and saying it's your fault,” said Macapugay, who explained her friend was being faulted for the coronavirus coming to the United States.
Macapugay hopes Thursday’s open meeting will bring issues involving the Asian American community to light.
“It is a difficult, uncomfortable truth to acknowledge racism exists. We have been having conversations about racism in our country forever and it does affect many more communities than we like to admit,” Macapugay said. “Our Asian American Pacific Islander communities are not exempt from experiencing racism.”