Stop AAPI Hate — the nation’s leading coalition documenting and addressing anti-Asian hate and discrimination amid the COVID-19 pandemic — on Feb. 9 released new data on hate incidents from its national tracker, as well as hate incidents involving Asian American elders. The new data is posted below.
Stop AAPI Hate is releasing this data in response to a recent surge of incidents involving violent attacks and assaults against Asian American elders in the San Francisco Bay Area. One of the latest incidents includes footage from a surveillance camera where an elderly man was violently pushed to the ground in public. Earlier in January, an elderly Asian man was fatally assaulted in San Francisco. Amid these incidents, community members and leaders in the Bay Area are raising concerns about the potential of continued violence.
According to Stop AAPI Hate:
• Between March 19, 2020 (when Stop AAPI Hate began collecting reports) and Dec. 31, 2020, Stop AAPI Hate received over 2,808 first-hand accounts of anti-Asian hate from 47 states and the District of Columbia.
• Between March 19, 2020 and Dec. 31, 2020, Stop AAPI Hate received 126 accounts of anti-Asian hate involving Asian Americans over 60 years old (7.3% of total incidents)
Further breakdown of the data, including a sample of reports, is shown below.
Stop AAPI Hate co-founders — Manjusha Kulkarni, executive director of Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, Cynthia Choi, co-executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, and Russell Jeung, Ph.D., professor of Asian American studies at San Francisco State University — issued the following statement:
“We are outraged by the disturbing incidents we’ve seen this past week where Asian American elders have been attacked in the San Francisco Bay Area. These violent assaults have a devastating impact on our community as they are part of an alarming rise in anti-Asian American hate during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“These recent incidents are stark reminders that urgent action must be taken to protect our AAPI community from hate, discrimination and violence. It is up to all of us — businesses, the government, and community partners — to come together and immediately support victims and families affected by these incidents, and work together to create long-lasting solutions that empower our communities with resources, support and education.”
Hate Incident Data
Between March 19 and Dec. 31, 2020, Stop AAPI Hate has received 2,808 reported incidents of racism and discrimination targeting Asian Americans across the U.S.
• Physical assaults made up 8.7% of incidents; coughing/spitting comprised 6.4%.
• Verbal harassment made up 70.9% of incidents; shunning or avoidance comprised 21.4%.
• Hate incidents without an underlying criminal element can violate civil rights, traumatize impacted individuals, and isolate youth.
• Clear civil rights violations — workplace discrimination, refusal of service from establishments, transit or ride-shares — make up 8% of the incidents.
• Businesses were the top site of discrimination incidents, making up 38.1% of locations of discrimination.
• Race was cited as the primary reason for discrimination, making up 90.3% of incidents.
• Vulnerable populations are attacked. Youth under 20 years old make up 13.6% of cases and elderly over 60 years old comprise 7.3%.
• Women are attacked almost 2.5 times more than men.
• Chinese made up the ethnic group most often targeted, making up 40.7% of incidents. Asian Americans as a whole, though, are being racially profiled and attacked. Koreans (15.1%); Vietnamese (8.2%) and Filipinos (7.2%) have also faced COVID-19 discrimination in high numbers.
• States with high Asian American populations report the most incidents: California (43.8%); New York (13.0%); Washington (4.1%); and Illinois (2.8%) have the highest rates.
Elderly Incidents and Trends
• Nationally, elderly Asian Americans (60+ years old) were involved in 7.3% of Stop AAPI Hate’s 2,808 self-reported incidents. That accounts for 126 cases between March 19 and Dec. 31, 2020.
• Elderly report being physically assaulted (13.5%) more than the Asian American population overall (8.7%).
• Verbal harassment (67.5%) and shunning (15.1%) make up the highest types of discrimination against elderly.
• Elderly report more clear civil rights violations (12.8%) — workplace discrimination, being barred from establishments or ride-shares — than the overall AAPI population (8.0%).
• Elderly women are attacked 1.5 times more than elderly men.
• States with high Asian American populations report the most incidents, with California (56.4%); New York (7.9%); Washington (7.9%); and Nevada (5.6%) have the highest rates of elderly abuse.
• In the San Francisco Bay Area, 8.2% involved elderly Asian Americans (35 cases)
First-hand Accounts from Asian American Elders
Barred from Establishment: “I am posting this on behalf of my dad, a 71-year-old Korean adoptee. Yesterday, he was chased out of a rural convenience store after asking to use the restroom while traveling along I-5 through [Northern] California to get to Portland, Ore.”
Coughed/Spat Upon: “I was waiting to enter [a pharmacy] to get my prescription when a group of construction workers (not social distancing) made fun of me by mocking me, fake coughing, spitting at me and making slant-eyes gestures until I asked them to stop. No one else called these people out.” (68 years old, Oakland)
“I was waiting to cross the street when I felt something on my head and it turned out to be spit all over my hair and the back of my coat. I was repeatedly spit on by a big white guy.” (67 years old, New York City)
Physical Assault: “I was standing in an aisle at [a hardware store] when suddenly I was struck from behind. Video surveillance verified the incident in which a white male used his bent elbow to strike my upper back. Subsequent verbal attacks occurred with ‘Shut up, you monkey!,’ ‘F**k you Chinaman,’ ‘Go back to China’ and ‘Stop bringing that Chinese virus over here.’” (67 years old, San Francisco)
“As I was leaving a restaurant, a white male stormed up to me and verbally harassed and terrorized me. He screamed, ‘Return to China. you f***ing Asian’ and other hateful, racial slurs, threatening me physically. This went on for several minutes as I departed the scene quickly to call police. A clear case of racial hatred towards me. I called the police, who arrived quickly to apprehend him. I gave a verbal account to another officer who arrived later. I have not heard back from anyone.” (67 years old, Alamo, Calif.)
“My wife and I were taking a walk, minding our own business when two dogs tried to attack us. When the woman owner came to us she said, ‘The reason the dogs are afraid of you is because you eat dogs!’ Then the woman said, ‘You need to go back from where you came from.’ We were shocked to hear this. I told her I was born in the U.S., but she did not care nor apologize for her dog’s behavior. I took a picture of her vehicle license plate and reported her to the local police and County Animal Control, who are investigating.” (67 years old, Sammami, Wash.)
“I was called a ‘yellow motherf***er’ by a stranger in an elevator and told to ‘go back where you came from.’ After exiting the elevator, the stranger picked me up by my shoulders and threw me against the elevator bank.” (67 years old, Honolulu)
Verbal Harassment: “On my daily walk in my hometown Sausalito, I was wearing a face mask when a white woman yelled at me, ‘I hate Chinese people! Why do they come to this country?!’ when she passed me. I was stunned by her words, which caused me to fear and be more alert of my surroundings.” (71 years old, Sausalito, Calif.)
“My husband and I (both in our 60s) were walking home after grocery shopping and three to four people in a car shouted ‘Virus, go to hell!’ to us while they drove by.” (68 years old, Montclair, Calif.)
About Stop AAPI Hate
Stop AAPI Hate is a national coalition aimed at addressing anti-Asian discrimination amid the pandemic, was founded by the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON), Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) and San Francisco State University’s Asian American Studies Department. Between March 19 and Dec. 31, 2020, Stop AAPI Hate has received 2,808 reported incidents of racism and discrimination targeting Asian Americans across the U.S. Visit www.stopaapihate.org.