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Asian Americans to hold rally in Troy amid spike in hate crimes in US

Rally goers take a moment of silence of the Atlanta shooting and Boulder shooting victims at the Stop Asian Hate rally at the Spirit Plaza in downtown Detroit, Saturday, March 27, 2021. (Photo via Detroit Free Press)

Asian Americans will be holding a new rally in Troy, Michigan, a city with an increasing population of residents of Asian descent amid a nationwide uptick in anti-Asian violence.

The rally on Sunday marks the fifth Asian American rally held in metro Detroit since the Atlanta shooting on March 16 which left six Asian American women and two others dead.

Asian Americans in metro Detroit say they are afraid to go out in public.

"My own mom, she has told me that she's scared to walk around the neighborhood or even go to Meijers or to grocery stores ... unless it's an Asian store," said Ngianhormua Yang, of Shelby Township, with Whenever We're Needed Detroit, an activist group formed to combat anti-Asian racism.

"There was a lot of anti-Asian bias in the last year," Yang said.

There have been about 3,800 hate incidents against Asian Americans since March 2020, 25 of them in Michigan, show data from the Asian American group Stop AAPI Hate.

Allison Huang, an activist with the group, who is helping organize the Troy rally, said that Asian Americans are being scapegoated for the coronavirus pandemic.

Activists have slammed former president Donald Trump for using terms like "China virus."

"The pandemic has devastated families and communities, and if you’re suffering, it’s tempting to look for someone to blame," Huang said. "But how could we be responsible for events that started an ocean away? ... The Asian-American community is in it with everyone else, and we’re taking the pandemic just as hard. We’re co-workers, neighbors, friends, fellow humans, above all else."

Violent attacks against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the US have seen an alarming surge in recent years.

Last week, in yet another hate crime against Asian-Americans, an elderly woman was stabbed to death in Riverside, California, police said.

Also, a Brooklyn, New York, resident was charged earlier this week with a series of hate crimes against Asian New Yorkers within a month, according to the New York Police Department.

This and other incidents have sparked a nationwide conversation on the rise in anti-Asian violence.

On March 27, American demonstrators held rallies in different cities across the United States to demand an end to anti-Asian violence.

Demonstrations were held in some 60 US cities including the Georgia metropolis along with San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and Portland.

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