Less than 10 days from its inception, the Stop AAPI Hate initiative has already received over 670 direct reports of discrimination against primarily Asian Americans as of Friday.
The Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON) and Chinese for Affirmative Action, launched a web page where victims of xenophobic and racist attacks can report incidents these incidents on March 19.
Based on data compiled by San Francisco State University Asian American Studies professor Russell Jeung, members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community are being targeted at an unprecedented rate.
“It shows how pervasive and widespread these anti-Asian cases are occurring,” he was quoted by NBC as saying.
In the first weekly report prepared by the co-founders of the site, it was noted that about 5.5% of the nearly 100 reports they receive daily are limited English speakers. The report took note that 61% of respondents are non-Chinese and that women are three times more likely to report harassment than men.
According to Jeung, victims report being coughed at or spat on. There were also cases of verbal insults and threats as well as physical assault. The most common are verbal harassment or name-calling, which account for about two-thirds of all reports of discrimination.
Jeung’s initial findings were reportedly based on media reports of racism and xenophobia against Asian Americans. Between Jan. 28 and Feb. 24, there have been over 1,000 cases of xenophobic attacks. This was the period when the first coronavirus cases were being reported in the United States.
The site’s founders urged victims who have experienced hate as a result of COVID-19 to “continue to report at www.a3pcon.org/stopaapihate
To cater to as many victims as possible, the site’s incident report forms are made available in English, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and Thai. Khmer, Tagalog and a few South Asian languages will reportedly be added soon.
“The data from our reporting center–both the numbers and the self-reported narratives– clearly reveal that Asian Americans are being racially profiled as threatening, disease-carriers. Not only are Chinese Americans blamed and mistreated, but Asian Americans of other ethnic backgrounds are also being targeted,”
Jeung further stated
Manjusha Kulkarni, Executive Director of Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON), pointed out that while the numbers are already alarming, they still do not “detail the hate and vitriol that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are experiencing. And they don’t make evident the fear and anxiety that community members feel when they leave their homes to buy groceries, pick up prescriptions, or just leave their homes for a walk in their neighborhoods.”
Meanwhile, Chinese for Affirmative Action Co-Executive Director Cynthia Choi lamented the rise in hate incidents as “heartbreaking and disturbing” and noted how they “point to a need to counter misinformation and bigotry.”
“We need to make significant investments in public education efforts and to take stronger stances against all forms of hate,” she added.