68% of Asian Americans in California Now Fear They are Targets of Racism, Surveys Reveal
A series of surveys revealed that members of the Asian American community are wary of both race relations and the COVID-19 situation in the United States.
What the surveys were about: A coalition of nonprofit organizations looked into viewpoints from different ethnic groups about the current pandemic, systemic racism, as well as the policies pertaining to them.
The poll series, which collected responses from 1,184 adults in California, was done in two parts: one in February and one in July.
In a statement, CAUSE Board Member and poll director Dan Schnur pointed out the importance of gathering relevant data to measure the perceptions of the different communities in California.
“These historic series of polls track the shifts in Californians’ attitudes towards some of our state’s most pressing issues, and we now have a more vivid picture of how communities of color are feeling in California,” Schnur explained. “This is the first time that organizations representing these three communities have teamed up on a project like this one, and we’re honored that CAUSE was able to play such an instrumental role in bringing this coalition together.”
What the numbers say: According to the poll, 74% of Asian Pacific Americans (APAs) in California fear the worst effects of COVID-19 are yet to come. Meanwhile, 68% of APAs are also concerned that they are and can be targets of anti-Asian racism.
Overall, the survey found that 86% of them were “worried about themselves or their immediate family contracting COVID-19.”
76% of APAs also believe that the local economy will continue to tank if COVID-19 cases continue to rise in California, while 77% are concerned that the initiatives to reopen and lift restrictions are way too early.
50% of APAs expressed that since the start of the pandemic, they feel or have felt personal discrimination from others.
Only 44% of APAs described race relations in the country as “excellent” or “good.” Back in February, 57% of APAs expressed the view.
Recognizing discrimination towards other groups, 77% of APAs believe that African Americans “frequently or sometimes” face racism while 70% believe that the Latino community faces the same.
The poll also touched on anti-Black racism in policing, with 54% of APAs acknowledging that the police’s use of violence against unarmed Black individuals were examples of systemic racism, although “31% believe these are isolated incidents.”
Meanwhile, 79% of APAs expressed support for police reform, while 33% of them prefer that the funding for law enforcement should be allocated instead to other government agencies.
56% of APAs also believe that protests are good for the country as they promote racial unity and optimism.
A call to action: CAUSE Board Chair Charlie Woo said that the situation calls for the Asian community in California to “play a leadership role in taking on the state’s most pressing challenges and working together toward necessary solutions.”
Feature Image via Getty
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