Stop AAPI Hate reports more physical, less verbal trend in over 9,000 incidents since March 2020

Stop AAPI Hate signs from demonstrations

National coalition Stop AAPI Hate is reporting an increase in physical attacks against Asian Americans this year, while verbal abuse — though still the largest type of discrimination — is seeing a drop in numbers compared to 2020.

Key details: The trends are highlighted in the nonprofit’s latest report, which documents 9,081 anti-Asian incidents between March 19, 2020 and June 30, 2021. Of this total, verbal harassment or name-calling (63.7%), avoidance or shunning (16.5%) and physical assault (13.7%) made up the largest proportions.

  • Verbal harassment and shunning, however, decreased from 69.5% and 20.6% in 2020 to 58.0% and 12.4% in 2021, respectively. Physical assaults, on the other hand, increased from 10.8% in 2020 to 16.6% in 2021.
  • Most of the incidents took place in public streets or sidewalks (31.6%) and places of business (30.1%). Last month, a ramen restaurant in Florida made headlines after white interlopers forced their way on its street-facing patio and attacked its owner with anti-Asian slurs.
  • Of all ethnic groups, Chinese Americans made the most incident reports (43.5%), followed by Koreans (16.8%), Filipinx (9.1%), Japanese (8.6%) and Vietnamese (8.2%). At least one anti-China and/or anti-immigrant statement was made in 48.1% of all the incidents.
  • Other incidents reported include being coughed at or spat on (8.5%), online discrimination (8.3%), workplace discrimination (5.6%), being barred from establishments (4%), vandalism or graffiti (3.7%) and being barred from transportation (1.4%). Vandalism, like physical assault, also increased from 2020 (2.6%) to 2021 (4.9%).

The big picture: Regardless of the type of discrimination, anti-Asian incidents continue to rise. Stop AAPI Hate notes that its latest total increased from just 6,603 in April 2021, while the current year’s tally of 4,533 is nearly equal to 4,548 reports made in 2020.

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  • “When you encourage hate, it’s not like a genie in a bottle where you can pull it out and push it back in whenever you want,” said Stop AAPI Hate co-founder Manjusha Kulkarni, who also serves as executive director of the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, according to AP News. “There’s too much perpetuating these belief systems to make them go away.”
  • Kulkarni said the data is influenced by several factors, from an actual increase in incidents to a greater desire to report them. She said some incidents had taken weeks or even months before they received them, “but they just were either not aware of our reporting center or didn’t take the time to report.”
  • In April, AAPI Data, which publishes demographic data and policy research on the AAPI community, estimated that up to two million Asian Americans have experienced a hate crime, discrimination or harassment since the onset of COVID-19. “What is missing from reported incidents, therefore, are the majority of cases that comprise the mass beneath the tip of the iceberg that go unreported, unseen, and unheard,” the publisher said in a blog post.
  • California reported the largest percentage (38.6%) of anti-Asian incidents in Stop AAPI Hate’s latest tally. Gov. Gavin Newsom has allotted $156 million to address the problem via non-carceral means.

Stop AAPI Hate’s full national report is available here.

Featured Image via Jason Leung on Unsplash (left, right)

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