On May 20, 2021, President Biden signed Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act into law. This legislation directs the U.S. Department of Justice to expedite review of hate crimes related to the Covid-19 virus, most of which are directed toward Asian Americans. The bill also makes reporting hate crimes easier for victims at local and state levels by providing online resources that are available in many languages. While the legislation is a major step in the right direction, we must all stand in solidarity with our Asian American community to denounce the recent swell of hate and violence against Asian Americans and bring these attacks to an end once and for all.
As Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month comes to a close, Gallagher Sharp LLP continues to reflect upon this recent spike in acts of hate and violence toward our Asian American community. We strongly condemn racism, discrimination, and hatred of any kind, and will continue to stand with our Asian American community against these despicable acts. In March of 2021, the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University found that hate crimes against Asian Americans had spiked 149% between 2019 and 2020, while hate crimes against other groups actually declined during the same period. This increase in attacks was most prevalent in New York, where hate crimes against Asians increased from three to twenty-eight in just one year.
Unfortunately, our home city of Cleveland, with its vibrant Asian community, has not been immune to this troubling trend. In April, Cleveland Indians infielder Yu Chang shared with the world the hateful messages he received on social media after making a throwing error during the 9th inning of a loss to the Chicago White Sox. Chang courageously used his platform as a professional athlete to speak out against the incidents, helping provide a voice to so many others who have been targeted during the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. This came only two weeks after hundreds came together in downtown Cleveland to rally against the rise in anti-Asian crimes, and particularly the Atlanta spa shootings that left eight people dead. Overall, it is estimated that there were nearly 3,800 incidents of anti-Asian crime during the Covid-19 pandemic, partially if not fully in response to unjustified anti-Asian rhetoric related to the virus.
We at Gallagher Sharp are committed to making society a hate-free and equitable place for everyone, and will continue to work together as individuals and as a firm to take steps to create a more just environment for all members of society. We are all better when we stand together.