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UMPI International Students from China reacts to Asian American hate crimes

Published: Apr. 9, 2021 at 7:47 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - Asian hate crimes have been on the rise nationwide and now here in Maine. News Source 8′s Adriana Sanchez spoke with students in our community about this disturbing trend.

Yuzhao Wu an International Student at University of Presque Isle from China said, “It’s a horrible thing happening in the recent days. it’s horrible. I’m also really concerned about ourselves, the international students safety.”

Jiarui Wang another International Student from China said,” I tell them the situations, of my school life- he worries about me but he (father) thinks this place this school is safe for me.”

Tiffany Chang, Director of Community Engagement of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, who fights for Asian Americans civil rights says there has been a dramatic increase in hate crimes since the pandemic started.

“We started to see a dramatic upsurge in anti-violence and according to one source we have had a 150% increase in anti-Asian hate incidents, bias incidents and hate crimes,” said Chang.

Over the past year nearly 3,800 hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific islanders have happened nation wide. This includes name calling, assault and shunning. In March of 2021, there was a deadly shooting in Atlanta that took 8 lives.  Six were women of Asian descent.

“Sometimes it makes me feel angry, sad – I fear for my mother and father when they go out in public. I always tell them to let me know when they’re going out so I can accompany them which is not uncommon among the young Asian Americans I know in my life. I know they all fear of their safety for their own life as well for their loved ones as well right now,” said Chang.

“The first thing is I feel fear, I feel sad, it’s really sad because I see on the news that some for the people come from the same place as us so I really feel sad,” said Wu.

Under the Maine Civil Rights Act, it’s against the law to attack a person motivated by the persons race, color, religion, sex ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability or sexual orientation. Maine Attorney General says there are no active cases related to hate crimes against Asian Americans in Aroostook county.

Adriana Sanchez News Source 8

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