ANTI-Asian hate incidents in the United States continued to increase in the year after the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country, according to a new report from Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition that tracks hate and discrimination.
In its national report released Thursday, May 6, Stop AAPI Hate said it received a total of 6,603 hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) from March 19, 2020 to March 31, 2021.
“The number of hate incidents reported to our center increased significantly from 3,795 to 6,603 during March 2021,” noted the organization.
Of the 6,603 incidents reported, 4,193 hate incidents occurred in 2020 and 2,410 of hate incidents occurred in 2021.
“Racism against Asian Americans is systemic and longstanding,” said Russell Jeung, Ph.D., co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate and professor of Asian American studies at San Francisco State University.
“The more we draw attention to anti-Asian hate, the more Asian Americans know they have a place to report what they’re experiencing, and the more we can demonstrate the extent of the problem and advocate for meaningful solutions,” he added.
The report found that 37.8% of the reported incidents took place in public streets and parks, and 32.2% of the incidents happened in businesses.
Of the total incidents, 65.2% were reports of verbal harassment, 18.1% were shunning or deliberate avoidance, 12.6% were physical assault, 10.3% were civil rights violation such as workplace discrimination or refusal of service and being barred from transportation, and 7.3% were online harassment.
Stop AAPI Hate cited gender, language, and religion as motivating factors for discrimination in 21.7% of incidents.
It also noted that 64.8% of the total incidents were reported by women.
Breaking down the reports by race or ethnic groups, Chinese individuals were seen to experience most of the hate incidents, with 43.7% of the reports coming from a member of their community. They are followed by Koreans (16.6%), Filipinos (8.8%), and Vietnamese (8.3%).
The organization also revealed that AAPIs aged 17 and below made up 11.0% of the reported incidents, while seniors aged 60 and above made up 6.6% of the total.
Cynthia Choi, co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate and co-executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, stressed the need to invest in community-based groups who respond to discrimination.
“We know that to combat structural racism, we need to deploy a more holistic approach,” she said.
“We can find a path forward if we invest in community-based organizations at the forefront of responding to discrimination and a public safety system that is structured to not only support survivors of violence but also prevent further violence,” added Choi.
The U.S. Senate has passed an anti-Asian hate bill that expands the federal government’s ability to address and respond to rises in hate crimes, as the Asian Journal previously reported.
Introduced by Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), the bill would establish a position at the Justice Department that would be responsible for reviewing reported incidents, help with the reporting process and provide grants for public education campaigns dedicated to combating hate crimes.
U.S. President Joe Biden has expressed support for the bill, urging the House of Representatives to pass its version of the bill “and send that legislation to my desk, which I will gladly, anxiously sign.”