Nearly 11,500 hate incidents have been reported against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the United States since 2020, according to the latest Stop AAPI Hate report.
Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition that tracks anti-Asian attacks, has documented 11,467 hate incidents against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community between March 19, 2020, and March 31, 2022, according to their national report released on Wednesday.
The report, “Two Years and Thousands of Voices,” found about two-thirds (67%) of the recorded incidents involved harassment, such as verbal or written hate speech or inappropriate gestures.
One in six (17%) of the incidents were reported as physical assault, and another 16% involved avoidance or shunning.
Women were found twice as likely to report hate incidents as compared to men. About 60% of all documented incidents were reported by women.
Public spaces, including streets, sidewalks and parks, saw 40% of reported incidents, while businesses such as grocery stores saw 27% of incidents. Furthermore, nearly one in 10 incidents occurred online and on public transit.
California, which is home to the largest population of the AAPI community in the U.S., has the highest number of reported incidents at 4,333, followed by New York at 1,840 and Washington at 556.
“Our self-reported data shows that if you’re only watching the news, you aren’t getting the full picture of what AAPIs are experiencing,” Russell Jeung, Ph.D., co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate and professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University, stated. “AAPIs are verbally harassed in grocery stores and shops, on the street and on public transit. We have a right to be treated with dignity and respect.”
Although the majority of the incidents are non-criminal, one in five Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have experienced a hate incident in the past two years, leading to nearly half of respondents reporting feelings of fear, depression and anxiety.
“I was emptying my trash into a public trash can at a rest stop and a man walked towards me asked me where my mask was, shoved me back and said if anyone should be wearing a mask it is people like you. He mocked by pulling his eyes back to resemble slant eye and bowed to me,” an individual from Marin County, California, reported to Stop AAPI Hate.
Most Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders believe the most effective response to address anti-AAPI racism is education and community-based solutions. Many also advocate for civil rights legislation and enforcement.
Stop AAPI Hate called on elected officials to protect the AAPI community through civil rights expansion and to educate the public about AAPI histories and cultures. They also suggested investing in community-based programs to prevent violence and support victims and survivors.
“Even as people move on past the COVID-19 pandemic, AAPIs continue to be harassed because of their race,” Manjusha Kulkarni, co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate and executive director of AAPI Equity Alliance, said. “The AAPI community is tired of being afraid. We want solutions that actually make a difference and focus on prevention.”