On March 16, Stop AAPI Hate (https://stopaapihate.org/), which has been urging victims and witnesses to report hate crimes, issued a report that reads, in part:
This report covers the 3,795 incidents received by the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center from March 19, 2020 to Feb. 28, 2021. The number of hate incidents reported to our center represents only a fraction of the number of hate incidents that actually occur, but it does show how vulnerable Asian Americans are to discrimination, and the types of discrimination they face.
Types of Discrimination
• Verbal harassment (68.1%) and shunning (20.5%) (i.e., the deliberate avoidance of Asian Americans) make up the two largest proportions of the total incidents reported.
• Physical assault (11.1%) comprises the third-largest category of the total incidents.
• Civil rights violations — e.g., workplace discrimination, refusal of service, and being barred from transportation — account for 8.5% of the total incidents.
• Online harassment makes up 6.8% of the total incidents.
• Women report hate incidents 2.3 times more than men.
• Youths (0 to 17 years old) report 12.6% of incidents and seniors (60 years old and older) report 6.2% of the total incidents.
• Chinese are the largest ethnic group (42.2%) that report experiencing hate, followed by Koreans (14.8%), Vietnamese (8.5%), and Filipinos (7.9%).
• Incident reports come from all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
• Businesses are the primary site of discrimination (35.4%), followed by public streets (25.3%), and public parks (9.8%). Online incidents account for 10.8% of the total incidents.
Comparison of 2020 and 2021
Stop AAPI Hate received reports of 3,292 incidents that occurred in 2020. This total is higher than our previously reported number of 2,808 because additional 2020 incidents were reported retroactively in 2021. Stop AAPI Hate received reports of 503 incidents that occurred in 2021.
I was shopping at [store] in Milpitas when an older man started making faces at me. I asked him what was wrong and he said, “What’s wrong? You are out here shopping!” I was confused, and he followed up with, “We delisted your companies, shipped back your international students…when do you ship out? When do you ship out? We are going to take away your citizenship!” (Milpitas, Calif.)
A white man catcalled me, then aggressively followed me down the block, and got inches from my face and yelled “Ch*nk!” and “C*nt!” after realizing I was Asian. Lots of neighbors were standing outside their homes and no one intervened. (Brooklyn, N.Y.)
As I was shopping, a white woman and what I am assuming was her husband came into the aisle I was in. They gave me dirty looks and just looked me up and down like they were disgusted with me. I tried to ignore it the best I could so I just walked away. To add to the story, I am a part of the LGBTQ+ community so I was wearing a mask that showed love and support for the community. As I walked away, the woman proceeded to walk up to me and stop me. She looked me up and down and said these exact words: “Oh, so you’re one of them?” And I was of course confused but then I remembered I had on the LGBTQ+ mask. I politely responded, “Excuse me?” She proceeded to say slurs that were both directed towards Asians and the LGBTQ+ community. (Jefferson, Ky.)
Two white, middle-aged men, who have been my neighbors for over 15 years, approached me threateningly on the street, pulled down the corners of their eyes and said, “Go back to Wuhan, b*tch, and take the virus with you!” When I called them vile, they then called me a “Thai wh*re” and threatened to beat up my husband. (West Vancouver, Canada)
This specific incident was in a NYC grocery store where a man started screaming at me and called me a “disgusting f*cking animal,” told me to “get the f*ck out of the store,” asked if I was crazy, and told me to “go back home” and “get out of the f*cking country.” He followed me around the store screaming at me and nobody did anything. (New York City)
My boyfriend and I were riding the metro into D.C. When on the escalator in the transfer station, a man repeatedly punched my back and pushed past us. At the top, he circled back toward us, followed us, repeatedly shouted “Chinese b**ch” at me, fake coughed at, and physically threatened us. A few days later, we saw a news story about how the owner of Valley Brook Tea in D.C. was harassed and pepper-sprayed by the same man, calling him “COVID-19” repeatedly. (Annandale, Va.)
During an Asian American protest, a white man driving a silver Mercedes drove past the first wave of Asian protesters yelling out of his window at them, “Stupid f*cking Asians!” Afterwards, he drove to where the remaining Asian protesters stood and was witnessed by multiple protesters aggressively driving onto the walkway where several protesters were gathered. Several elderly Hmong women jumped out of the way. An 8-year-old boy, who stood in the path of the oncoming vehicle, was startled into action and quickly moved out of the way towards safety. (Elk Grove, Calif.)
I came into the coffee shop at Mercato and people started leaving the area where I sat one by one. People started coming in and they sat on the other side of the coffee shop away from me. I became isolated on one side of the coffee shop. (Naples, Fla.)
A [ride-hailing service] driver said to me after I got into his car, “Damn, another Asian riding with me today. I hope you don’t have any COVID.” He was leaning as much as he could against the driver’s door with his head tilted toward the window, implying he doesn’t want to be close to me while I am sitting diagonally behind him as a rider. After I told him, “Have a good day,” he replied back, “You shouldn’t be requesting any more rides from anybody.” (Las Vegas)
I am a Pacific Islander. I was at the mall with a friend. I was wearing a plumeria clip and was speaking Chamorro when a woman coughed and said, “You and your people are the reason why we have corona.” She then said, “Go sail a boat back to your island.” (Dallas, Texas)
These white males were walking toward me, moved into the street when they saw me, yelled, “Hey ch*nk!” and then spit at me. (College Station, Texas)
Refusal of Service/Barred From Establishment
I was trying to enroll my daughter in a gymnastics class and had left several messages to call back. I was finally able to speak with the owner of the business and asked why he had not returned my phone calls, and was told that he did not like my name which is obviously Asian and he would not accept our daughter into his gym. I was so shocked at his blatant statement and hung up the phone. (Tustin, Calif.)
I was shouted at and harassed by [business name] cashier, workers, as well as customers at the store to get out of the store. They said, “You Chinese bring the virus here and you dare ask people to keep social distance guidelines.” (Cupertino, Calif.)
There was graffiti in front of a supermarket that said “CHINA OFF MY FACE.” It was written quite large for pedestrians to read as they walked by. (Astoria, N.Y.)
At the street intersection, “Chink” was written four times in very large characters for three of the signs. (Westminster, Calif.)
I received a random email message from someone I don’t know telling me to go back to China, blaming me for Chinese politics, calling Chinese “heartless robots” and telling me America doesn’t need me to be part of the workforce. (Boston)
A man sent me these messages: “Well, go die in Wuhan, China, the origin of the coronavirus and take Trump with you! B*TCH!” (Randolph, N.J.)
One of my professors was talking about the public health response to COVID-19 and explicitly called it the “China virus” and that “we’ve gotta be very careful about that country and what they’d do to us.” (College Park, Md.)
Stop AAPI Hate, 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 (AAS).
A3PCON is acoalition of more than 40 community-based organizations that serve and represent the 1.5 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the greater Los Angeles area, with a particular focus on low-income, immigrant, refugee, and other vulnerable populations.
CAA was founded in 1969 to protect the civil and political rights of Chinese Americans and to advance multiracial democracy in the U.S. Today, CAA is a progressive voice in and on behalf of the broader Asian American and Pacific Islander community. We advocate for systemic change that protects immigrant rights, promotes language diversity, and remedies racial and social injustice.
AAS is the oldest and largest such academic program in the nation. Founded after the 1968-69 Black Student Union and Third World Liberation Front student strike, it maintains the strike’s values of student activism, social justice, and community self-determination.
— Russell Jeung Ph.D., Aggie Yellow Horse, Ph.D., Tara Popovic, and Richard Lim