From BTS to Britain, Anti-Asian Racism Gets New Attention Outside the U.S. - Miss Rosier - Women's Online Boutique

From BTS to Britain, Anti-Asian Racism Gets New Attention Outside the U.S.

Why BTS Runs the World Reading From BTS to Britain, Anti-Asian Racism Gets New Attention Outside the U.S. 7 minutes Next Is “Clean” Beauty a Wash?

Hint: This article is from Timothy W. Martin & Dasl Yoon at (

SEOUL—Activism and awareness surrounding anti-Asian violence have started fanning out world-wide, encouraged by U.S. protests following the Atlanta-area spa shootings.

People from an array of Asian communities and their supporters are taking to social media, rallying in the streets and speaking out—some for the first time. The mobilization has helped create a megaphone for issues that went mostly unnoticed for decades, but were amplified during the coronavirus pandemic and erupted in recent weeks.

South Korean band BTS took to Twitter on Tuesday, sharing how its members had endured expletives and mockery for how they looked. “What is happening right now cannot be disassociated from our identity as Asians,” according to the group’s official account, in a post that generated roughly 3 million retweets and likes.

Rallies against anti-Asian hate have sprung up in recent weeks in Canada, Germany, France, Netherlands and New Zealand. The most-searched query related to hate crimes is now “Asian hate crimes,” according to Google Trends, with interest surging 1,650% in the past 12 months.

People participating in a ‘Stop Asian Hate’ protest in Amsterdam over the weekend.

“The Atlanta shooting was absolutely the catalyst,” said Steph Hai Hui Tan, who organized a Saturday rally in New Zealand that drew a crowd of more than 1,500 roughly split between Asians and non-Asians, she added.

Ms. Tan, a public-health graduate student, said she hadn’t attended such a rally before joining the one she organized, having drawn inspiration from the U.S. protests and vigils coalescing under the “Stop Asian Hate” movement.

“We were standing in solidarity with Asian-Americans and breaking the silence for Asian New Zealanders,” Ms. Tan said. “It’s just too late to be protesting if you wait until people start dying.”

Global attention about the issue grew following the March 16 rampage of three Atlanta-area spas that killed eight—including six women of Asian descent. Robert Aaron Long, the lone suspect in the killings, has been charged with eight counts of murder. Mr. Long said he targeted the businesses in retaliation for “providing an outlet for his addiction to sex,” according to law-enforcement officials. Local police are still investigating whether the shootings constitute a hate crime.

As with the U.S., the Atlanta incident, regardless of whether a hate crime occurred, has served as an animating force in other countries’ recognition of and reckoning against anti-Asian violence.

The sizable Asian diaspora took note of the rapid mobilization in the U.S., enabling the movement to expand globally given how interconnected everything is online, said Jerry Kang, who founded the office of equity, diversity and inclusion at the University of California, Los Angeles.

“The mesh layers of networks we’ve created through social media makes it more likely that these movements will feel global,” said Mr. Kang, a law professor who also consults multinational companies on implicit bias.

The ‘Stop Asian Hate’ movement has gained momentum as reports of anti-Asian violence continue to grow. WSJ talks to an expert and a grassroots organizer on how recent events are mobilizing the Asian-American community to speak up and demand change. Photo: Ben Gray/Atlanta Journal-Constitution/Associated Press

Global search interest for “Stop Asian Hate,” the prominent slogan and hashtag for the anti-Asian violence movement, has hit record highs, surging more than 5,000% in March, according to Google Trends.

In countries where Asians represent a minority of the population, the outpouring of activism and attention reflect a year of distress, when many inside the Asian diaspora reported elevated levels of discrimination, harassment and violence.

Cities around the country have seen upticks in hate crimes against Asians since the start of the pandemic. One analysis conducted by researchers at California State University, San Bernardino, found hate crimes targeting Asians in 16 of the largest U.S. cities increased 149% between 2019 and 2020. Over the same period, overall reports of hate crimes declined by 7%, the researchers found.

Similar data is tougher to obtain across Europe, as some countries don’t track race or ethnicity in their crime data. In London, there were 222 hate crimes against East Asians between June and September of 2020, roughly doubling from the same period a year earlier, according to data from the city’s metropolitan police.

In the U.K., a Chinese lecturer at the University of Southampton said he was assaulted in February by a group of white men who shouted, “Chinese virus” and told him to get out of the country. The man, 37-year-old Peng Wang, was left with a bloody nose and bruises.

Nearly two-fifths of respondents to a New Zealand survey of Chinese communities said they experienced discrimination. A rally in Auckland, New Zealand, on March 27.

After the Atlanta incident, the U.K.-based advocacy group End the Virus of Racism saw its email inbox explode with requests from the media and others looking to get engaged about racism against East and Southeast Asians, said Hau-Yu Tam, the organization’s interim chairwoman. Membership interest surged. Other mobilization, including a call to action with other groups, energized like never before, she said.

“Atlanta helped focus the spotlight, that this is obviously an issue in the U.K., too,” Ms. Tam said.

Nearly one in five Chinese-Australians said in the past year they have been physically threatened or attacked due to their heritage, according to a recent survey by the Lowy Institute, a Sydney-based think tank.

The research came during a tense time in China-Australia relations, with the two countries sparring over trade and other issues. Asked about the Lowy survey earlier this month, China’s Foreign-Ministry spokesman implored Australia to “solve the problems of racism and discrimination at home” and criticized its continuous discrimination against those of Asian origins.

“This makes Chinese-Australian community leaders very uneasy about the things they do, they can’t do and how they react to all this,” said Peter Cai, a research fellow at Lowy who focuses on China-Australia relations.

Nearly two-fifths of respondents to a New Zealand survey of Chinese communities said they experienced discrimination, with the most common forms being negative online comments, being stared at in public, and receiving abuse in person, according to a February report from the country’s Human Rights Commission.

‘There is this desire to not simply go inward and unite the community, but rather go outward and create a more antiracist solidarity.’

— Erin Aeran Chung, a professor at Johns Hopkins University

The BTS tweet followed an incident involving the group itself. In late February, a German radio host, taking offense at BTS’s cover of a Coldplay song, compared the South Korean band with “some crappy virus that hopefully there will be a vaccine for soon as well.” The German station, Bayern 3, later issued an apology, adding the host’s remarks overshot the mark and expressed an opinion in an ironically exaggerated manner.

Other South Korean entertainers—including some U.S.-born—have also supported the Stop Asian Hate movement. Eric Nam, a singer who grew up in Atlanta, wrote in Time Magazine that, “an attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.”

The uptick in mobilization reflects a world newly open to defining and discussing anti-Asian racism and violence, both within Asian diaspora communities but also those outside of it.

“This moment is a little bit different,” said Erin Aeran Chung, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, who specializes in East Asian politics. “There is this desire to not simply go inward and unite the community, but rather go outward and create a more anti-racist solidarity.”

Leave a comment

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.