Jessie Mitnick, age 13
On March 16, 2021, a devastating shooting took place in Atlanta. The attack left eight people dead, six of them women of Asian descent. Since the onset of the pandemic, there has been a sharp rise in anti-Asian attacks, largely fueled by former President Trump’s rhetoric, labeling the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus” and blaming China for the pandemic.
Between March 19 and February 28, 2021, 3,795 anti-Asian incidents were reported to the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center. While the entire United States has experienced acts of xenophobic violence, the Bay Area in California faced an especially large amount of attacks, many of which targeted elderly people.
Along with the rise in anti-Asian attacks has come a rise in community activism. Compassion in Oakland is a community project of hundreds of volunteers who walk with elderly Asian people to help protect them from possible xenophobic attacks.