Group Discloses 503 Incidents Since Start of 2021
Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition aimed at addressing anti-Asian American discrimination, today released new data indicating that it received a total of 3,795 reports of hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) across the U.S. between March 19, 2020 and Feb. 28, 2021.
This data includes reports of 503 incidents that took place during the first two months of 2021 alone, and an additional 484 incidents that took place in 2020 but were reported after, bringing the count of 2020 hate incidents up from 2,808 (as the coalition previously shared) to 3,292.
“The Asian American community needs more than solidarity; we need solutions,” said Manjusha Kulkarni, co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate and executive director of Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council. “We ask policymakers at the local, state and national level to partner with us on implementing community-based solutions that will help ensure Asian Americans have equal rights and access to opportunities.”
“Hate incidents are not abating. We cannot let anti-Asian American hate be a legacy of COVID-19 or the last presidential administration, but that’s exactly what will happen unless we demand concrete action,” said Russell Jeung, Ph.D., co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate and professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University.
“We need to reckon with both the historical and ongoing impact that racism, hate and violence are having on our community, especially on women, youth and seniors, who are particularly vulnerable,” said Cynthia Choi, co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate and co-executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action. “This is a critical moment for government, businesses and the broader community to empower the AAPI community with resources and support.”
Examining the totality of incidents received since Stop AAPI Hate began tracking nearly one year ago, the data indicates:
- 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.
- 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%).
- Businesses are the primary site of discrimination (35.4%), followed by public streets (25.3%) and public parks (9.8%). Incidents that take place online account for 10.8% of the total.
These 3,795 hate incidents likely represent only a fraction of those experienced by the AAPI community, as studies have indicated that as many as three in 10 Asian Americans report having experienced racial slurs or racist jokes since the beginning of the pandemic. In recent weeks, there have also been a number of highly-public incidents — including violent attacks and assaults against Asian American around the country.
Stop AAPI Hate received reports of incidents from all 50 states and the District of Columbia. They include the following first-hand accounts:
- My boyfriend and I were riding the metro into DC. 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 DC was harassed and pepper sprayed by the same man, calling him “Covid-19” repeatedly. (Annandale, Va.)
- I was shopping at a [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 [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 anymore rides from anybody.” (Las Vegas, Nev.)
- “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 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, Mass.)
The Biden administration has condemned hate toward the AAPI community through both a memorandum and, more recently, while addressing the nation. Stop AAPI Hate urges more concrete actions, including: the expansion and enforcement of civil rights protections for individuals experiencing discrimination, ensuring passage of the Jabara-Heyers NO HATE Act, directing the U.S. attorney general to investigate and initiate civil actions on anti-AAPI hate, directing the U.S. Civil Rights Commission to implement fully its May 2020 recommendations, including funding community outreach, conducting training, and, ending racial profiling of Chinese scientists and researchers, specifically the Department of Justice’s China Initiative, and supporting restorative justice and community mediation efforts such as work conducted by the Department of Justice’s Community Relations Services. To read more about Stop AAPI Hate’s demands of the Biden-Harris Administration, see here.
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/.