Anti-Asian hate crime in 16 of America’s largest cities increased 145% in 2020 according to an analysis of official preliminary police data by the Center for the Study of Hate & Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, with the first spike occurring in March and April amidst a rise in COVID cases and negative stereotyping of Asians relating to the pandemic.
The nail community has been on high alert, as many in the industry identify as Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI). In late March, when 8 spa employees were killed in Atlanta, and six of them were of Asian descent, things hit very close to home for AAPI beauty professionals.
Nail Artist Winnie Huang @winnieisawesome, a CND Global Ambassador, emigrated with her family in 1998 from Taiwan to British Columbia. “We moved here, we thought about fitting in, getting used to the new culture. Racism was never something that we talked about or even have it cross our minds.”
Huang says that despite these anti-Asian hate crimes being covered in the media, many people continue to be surprised when they hear of them. “A part of me doesn’t want to believe it is happening. I find it really hard to talk about and I get so angry, but I don’t want to say the wrong thing.”
In this video interview, Huang is joined by fellow nail artist, San Francisco-based Kristen @sfnoma and Becky May @beckyjade08, Director of Client Content Strategy for NAILS. The three speak openly about their own experiences and their concerns.
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