Anti-Asian hate crimes decreased by 34% from 2021 to 2022, according to new data released by the FBI.
Factors in the decline: Experts attributed the recent decline — the first drop in anti-Asian hate crimes since the beginning of the pandemic — to factors like reduced opportunities for COVID-related blaming, decreased use of inflammatory language by leaders and a sense of fatigue in reporting.
Hate crimes are cyclical: However, the decrease may not be a long-term trend, as experts suggest that anti-Asian hate crimes are cyclical and can be influenced by national and international contexts. The initial spike in hate crimes was linked to economic downturns and the blaming of Asians for the coronavirus.
“The data is a reminder that hate never goes away, it only hides. Any hate crime is a stain on the soul of America,” President Joe Biden said in a statement, according to American Kahani
Data on Sikhs and Muslims: Some groups, like Sikhs and Muslims, did not see a significant decrease in hate crime incidents, most of which may be related to anti-immigrant and Islamophobic rhetoric. The number of bias-motivated incidents against Sikhs decreased from 185 to 181. However, The Sikh Coalition said that anti-Sikh hate crime victimizations were “the highest number ever at 198,” an increase from 195 in 2021.
Important to note: The FBI’s statistics alone may not fully capture the state of anti-Asian hate in the U.S. since they rely on law enforcement data and Asian Americans are less likely to report being victimized in racial incidents, which may end up not even being classified as hate crimes. The absence of adequate performance metrics hinders the assessment of the federal government’s effectiveness in combating hate crimes against the Asian community, as noted by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.