A MAJORITY of Americans across racial and ethnic groups believe that discrimination against Asian Americans has worsened over the past year, according to a new poll.
A poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research released on Wednesday, May 26 highlights the increase in anti-Asian hate and violence as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The poll found that 60% of Americans think the discrimination against Asian Americans is higher now compared to a year ago.
Of the total percentage, 71% of the surveyed are Asian Americans, 66% are Black Americans, 59% are white Americans, and 55% are Hispanic Americans.
The poll was conducted from April 29 to May 3, among 1,842 adults aged 18 and older nationwide. It used a sample drawn from NORC’s probability-based AmeriSpeak Panel, which is designed to be representative of the U.S. population.
The AP-NORC also found that 45% of Americans are “extremely or very concerned” about the increased violence against Asian Americans because of the pandemic, while 33% are “somewhat concerned.”
Of the Asian American respondents, 67% are extremely or very concerned about the increased violence, and 17% are somewhat concerned. Meanwhile, 13% are “not very or not at all” concerned.
As a result of the surge in anti-Asian hate and violence in the U.S., 57% of Asian Americans feel unsafe in public because of their race or ethnicity, following close behind the 63% of Black Americans who feel the same.
Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition that tracks hate and discrimination, reported that from March 19, 2020 to March 31, 2021, it has received a total of 6,603 hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs).
Of the 6,603 incidents reported, 4,193 hate incidents occurred in 2020 and 2,410 hate incidents occurred in 2021.
Meanwhile, the Center for the Study of Hate in Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino reported a 164% overall increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans in 2021.
In the first quarter of this year, anti-Asian crimes reported to police increased to 95 from the 36 reported crimes in 16 of the largest and most populated cities and counties in the country last year.
To address the anti-Asian hate crimes that have risen since the start of the pandemic, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act introduced by Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) and Senator Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii).
Under the bill, issues such as the underreporting of incidents and crimes and the lack of language access and cross-cultural understanding in legal proceedings will be addressed.
As previously reported in the Asian Journal, the bill passed in the lower chamber on Tuesday, May 18 in a 364-62 vote, with the opposing votes coming from Republican lawmakers.
The Senate passed the bill last month, with a 94-1 vote. The bill was signed by President Joe Biden on Thursday, May 20.
“For centuries, Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, Pacific Islanders — diverse and vibrant communities — have helped build this nation only to be often stepped over, forgotten, or ignored. You know, lived here for generations, but still considered, by some, the ‘other’…It’s wrong. It’s simply, to use the phrase, it’s simply un-American,” Biden said at the signing.