Seattle church vandalized with anti-Asian messages amid climate of fear in AAPI communities
A Seattle church has been targeted with anti-Asian graffiti for the fourth time in 2021, KOMO News reports.
Why it matters: The hateful messages, which included "China, you will pay," "go home" and "f--k China," appeared on church grounds one day before a white gunman killed eight people, six of whom were Asian women, in shootings in Georgia.
Details: The church had received similar messages earlier this year — once in January and twice in February. All of the messages revolved around China, church leaders said.
- About 5% of the congregation is of Chinese descent, including people from China who teach at their day care, church leaders told KOMO News.
- It's unclear why the church is being targeted. Police are reviewing the incidents.
The big picture: Anti-Asian hate has been on the rise since the start of the pandemic. Experts say former President Trump’s rhetoric — referring to COVID-19 as the "China virus" — encouraged the racism.
- The Stop AAPI Hate reporting center received nearly 3,800 self-reported hate incidents from March 19 last year to Feb. 28.
- The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University found that anti-Asian hate crimes reported to police in America's largest cities jumped nearly 150% in 2020.