While many are becoming aware of stories of hate against Asians from news reports, about one in three Americans have reportedly witnessed another person blaming the group for the COVID-19 pandemic.
Whether they did something to help, however, is unclear.
Of this percentage, the majority are Asians (60%), followed by Hispanics (48%), Blacks (43%) and Whites (27%).
The online survey, which ran from April 16-17, polled a sample of 1,001 adults aged 18 and above from the continental U.S., Alaska and Hawaii. The majority of respondents (56%) believe that the pandemic is a natural disaster.
“The majority of people — a bare majority, but a majority — are still viewing the pandemic as a natural disaster,” said Chris Jackson, the head of public polling at Ipsos, according to NBC News. “We’ve not asked this particular question before, but we’ve asked similar questions, and that number is coming down. Earlier on, there was a much larger number of people who viewed it as a natural disaster.”
Still, some 3% believe that coronavirus is a form of biological warfare.
Reports of racist and xenophobic attacks against Asian Americans have been on the rise since the coronavirus reached the U.S. Such bias reportedly plays into the long history of racism in the country, particularly the idea of Asian Americans still having to prove their “Americanness.”
“They fall very quickly from model minority to yellow peril,” said Charissa Cheah, a professor of psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore. “Asian Americans are considered perpetual foreigners. It doesn’t matter how many generations you’ve been here. You’re always asked, ‘Where do you come from?’”
Last Friday, STOP AAPI HATE — a joint reporting center founded by the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON), Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) and San Francisco State University’s Asian American Studies Department — said that it received a total of 1,497 reports of coronavirus discrimination since its launch on March 19.
Incidents from California and New York composed 58% of the reports. Examples include discrimination in the workplace, businesses and transportation.
“The volume of incident reports continues to be concerning. But, beyond the sheer numbers, we hear the impact of hate in the pain, humiliation, trepidation and fear in the voices of AAPIs today,” A3PCON Executive Director Manjusha Kulkarni said in a statement. “This is a widespread problem with significant ramifications for our communities.”
Feature Image Screenshots via Emily Chen (right)