June 9, 2020—Since its official launch on March 19, 2020, Stop AAPI Hate, the leading aggregator of incidents against Asian Americans during the pandemic, reports that, on May 13, it reached nearly 1,900 incidents of anti-Asian discrimination documented across the U.S. this number covers an eight-week period of reporting.
Data from the over 1,843 self-reported incidents received by Stop AAPI Hate aggregated from 45 states, as well as Washington, D.C., continue to demonstrate the widespread racism that Asian Americans continue to experience during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The following trends and patterns emerged:
- Verbal harassment (69.3%) and shunning (22.4%) make up the highest proportion of cases
- Physical assaults (8.1%) and spitting/coughing (6.6%) are also prevalent among incidents
- Civil rights violations, such as workplace discrimination (4.8%); being barred from establishments (2.9%); and being barred from transportation (1.1%); make up 8.8% of the incidents
- Incidents at businesses (42.1%) exceed those in public places (38.9%), which include sidewalks, parks and transit
- Incidents from California and New York constituted over 59% of all reports
- Women report incidents of harassment 2.4 times more than men
- Elderly make up 7.8% of the respondents
Stop AAPI Hate is alarmed at the continued increase in anti-Asian American discrimination, fueled in part by the spread of misinformation and anti-Chinese bias by key government officials. Trump’s racist rhetoric has inspired acts of discrimination against the AAPI community. Here are some first-hand accounts from Stop AAPI Hate’s latest report:
- “I was called ‘Chinese Coronavirus’ while in line at a fast food drive thru. The boy spit and pretended to cough. I was with my sister, an RN, who was getting a health hero meal and my 6-year-old son.”
- “While driving into my apartment complex I noticed a sign in the entrance saying ‘the China virus kills people’ instead of the coronavirus.”
- “I was walking my dog at night and a car swerved toward me on the sidewalk. The two guys inside the car started shouting, ‘Trump 2020, Die Chink Die.’”
Stop AAPI calls on all government leaders, corporations, schools and policymakers to include safeguards and policies against bias and discrimination as critical elements of their COVID-19 response in order to mitigate further incidents of anti-Asian American discrimination.
“Widespread racism against Asian Americans during the pandemic is a serious and devastating issue that is impacting the lives of millions in our country every day. Unless we address the discrimination and harassment against Asian Americans, it will become deeply entrenched, cause unimaginable harm and suffering, and take decades to unwind,” said Manjusha Kulkarni, Executive Director of Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council. “Now is the time to hold leaders, businesses and schools accountable to ensure anti-Asian American sentiments do not take a stronger hold in the U.S.”
“President Trump continues to utilize white supremacist and nationalist views as a means of scapegoating his failures for political gain. His damaging rhetoric is already translating into policy. Trump recently announced his plan to limit Chinese students in US schools. This unprecedented move is the latest part of his agenda to paint ethnic Chinese as threats. This would be the first time a category of Chinese students would be barred from obtaining educational opportunities based on their nationality,” said Cynthia Choi, Co-Executive Director of Chinese for Affirmative Action. “Trump must be held accountable for his anti-Asian American rhetoric and policies.”
“The trends in these reports are difficult to hear, but are unsurprising given that the United States government has long used Asian Americans as a scapegoat for public health crises. From the ‘yellow peril’ in the mid-1800s to now, Chinese immigrants and others in the AAPI community have been wrongly blamed for spreading disease and consequently have been treated horribly,” said Russell Jeung, Ph.D., Chair and Professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University. “We’re seeing once again how fear is driving discrimination against a minority group, and we must put a stop to it.”
The Stop AAPI Hate reporting center was 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.
The Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council (A3PCON) is a coalition of more than forty community-based organizations that serve and represent the 1.5 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the greater Los Angeles area, with a particular focus on low-income, immigrant, refugee and other vulnerable populations.
Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) was founded in 1969 to protect the civil and political rights of Chinese Americans and to advance multiracial democracy in the United States. Today, CAA is a progressive voice in and on behalf of the broader Asian American and Pacific Islander community. We advocate for systemic change that protects immigrant rights, promotes language diversity, and remedies racial and social injustice.