Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition aimed at addressing anti-Asian American discrimination, on May 6 released new data indicating that it received a total of 6,603 reports of hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) across the U.S. between March 19, 2020 and March 31, 2021.
The new reports received over the past month include reports of incidents that took place in 2020, as well as those that have taken place throughout 2021. Overall, out of the 6,603 hate incident reports included in this report, 4,193 of the hate incidents occurred in 2020, and 2,410 of the hate incidents occurred in 2021.
The steep rise in reporting corresponds to increased national attention to anti-Asian hate, which has led to more and more Asian Americans becoming aware of the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center and other resources, as well as the importance of reporting. This rise in reporting also corresponds to the horrific attacks on Asian Americans around the country, including the murder of six Asian American women in Georgia and a number of incidents where Asian Americans have been hospitalized after violence.
“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.”
“We know that to combat structural racism, we need to deploy a more holistic approach,” said Cynthia Choi, co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate and co-executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action. “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.”
“This AAPI Heritage Month, we are mourning those who have been taken from us and are grappling with our own fears,” said Manjusha Kulkarni, co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate and executive director of Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council. “Despite the heart-wrenching year we have experienced, our community has shown unity, strength and resilience. We honor and celebrate the powerful activism AAPIs and our allies have demonstrated.“
Examining the totality of incidents received since Stop AAPI Hate began tracking on March 19, 2020, the data indicates:
• Verbal harassment (65.2%) and shunning (18.1%) — i.e., the deliberate avoidance of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders — continue to make up the two largest proportions of the total incidents reported.
• Hate incidents reported by women make up 64.8% of all reports.
• Youths (0 to 17 years old) report 11.0% of incidents and seniors (60 years old and older) report 6.6% of the total incidents.
• Chinese individuals have reported more hate incidents (43.7%) than other race or ethnic groups, followed by Koreans (16.6%), Filipinx (8.8%) and Vietnamese (8.3%).
While Stop AAPI Hate has received more incident reports, these 6,603 hate incidents likely represent only a fraction of those experienced by the AAPI community. A recent study indicates that, since the pandemic began, 45% of the Asian American adults surveyed experienced at least one incident tied to their racial or ethnic background.
Stop AAPI Hate received reports of incidents from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. They include the following first-hand accounts:
“I was at the park with a friend and our young children. A large man was jogging by, lunged off the path toward me and yelled ‘F****** ch***!’ in my face before jogging away. We were with our children and too scared to confront him, but he appeared unashamed as he jogged by again.” (Riverside)
“I entered the public bathroom at [a] grocery store. A white man and his son were at the bathroom [and] when [the] white man saw me, he said ‘Sh*t, there is an Asian coming!’ He called his son, and quickly escaped the bathroom.” (West Lafayette, Ind.)
“My elderly mother (65 years old) was waiting for the subway. Someone tried to push her off the platform down into the train tracks. She screamed and a fellow bystander chased off the perpetrator. The good samaritan stood nearby my mom until she boarded the train safely.” (Boston)
“A random person messaged me on Facebook. They used slurs against me and against my Asian husband calling him ‘an almost Black ch***’ and saying we should both be hung.” (Dilworth, Minn.)
“I was eating and talking on the phone in Chinese when a man came up to me, called me a ‘Ch***’ and spit on me.” (Oklahoma City, Okla.)
“Two physicians [were] discussing the origin of the virus and calling it the ‘China virus’ in front of the rest of the staff in the hospital. Also, there is harassment/discrimination against Asian healthcare workers in certain departments of the same hospital.” (Carmel)
“We received discriminatory, targeted poor service at [a restaurant]. We were the only Asian party there. The server mocked us by imitating an Asian language, purposefully grated a pile of parmesan cheese over my friend’s lap, and hovered over her when delivering her check, invading her personal space when she was sitting alone and vulnerable. The other parties in the restaurant were treated warmly and with welcoming attention. We were explicitly ignored throughout the duration of our lunch.” (New York City)
“I’ve lived in the [neighborhood] over a decade and never seen any graffiti targeting Asians. I have shopped at this [drug store] since the opening of the location, but in my recent trip last week I found the offensive graffiti, ‘NO ASIAN PARKING’ in the parking garage. I notified the drug store management too.” (Seattle)
In order to combat anti-Asian hate, Stop AAPI Hate is calling for national and local governments to:
• Dedicate resources to local communities, including community safety programs and in-language support for those in need of mental health, legal and immigration services.
• Build a strong civil rights infrastructure at the local level by fully funding community-based groups, which are often the first responders to incidents of hate.
• Increase exposure to the voices and histories of all communities by expanding ethnic studies and education.
• Strengthen federal civil rights laws that address discrimination in public accommodations — businesses where we buy our groceries, refill our prescriptions and eat our meals.
Stop AAPI Hate’s demands of the Biden-Harris Administration are available here: https://stopaapihate.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Stop-AAPI-Hate-Press-Statement-Executive-Order-Against-Anti-AAPI-Hate-Policies-Needed-210125.pdf
Its policy recommendations for school reopenings are available here: https://stopaapihate.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/Stop-AAPI-Hate-Press-Statement-Back-to-School-210414.pdf
The Stop AAPI Hate coalition encourages any member of the AAPI community who has experienced hate during the pandemic to report the incident at: https://stopaapihate.org/reportincident/.