Nearly 3,800 anti-Asian hate incidents reported across US since March 2020, group says

ByNicole Chavez, CNN, CNNWire
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
People call for stop to hate against Asian community
The hashtag Stop Asian Hate trended on Twitter after a shooting in Atlanta left eight, including many Asian women, dead. Here's what you can do to help stop the spread of hatred and violence.

A coalition tracking reports of racism and discrimination against Asian Americans says it has received at least 3,795 firsthand complaints since last year.

Stop AAPI Hate began tracking violence and harassment against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders on March 19 last year.

From then through the end of 2020, Stop AAPI Hate received a total of 3,292 complaints from all 50 states and Washington, DC, according to a Stop AAPI Hate news release. The coalition, which had previously reported a lower number of complaints for 2020, said some incidents that took place in 2020 were not reported until earlier this year.

There were at least 503 anti-Asian hate incidents reported between January 1 and February 28 according to the group's latest report, released Tuesday, and 3,800 reports of hate incidents across the country since March 2020.

While the incidents reported through their website likely only represent a portion of the number of hate incidents in the United States, the coalition says those numbers show that anti-Asian sentiment is still prevalent.

"Hate incidents are not abating. We cannot let anti-Asian American hate be a legacy of COVID-19 or the last presidential administration, but that's exactly what will happen unless we demand concrete action," Russell Jeung, co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate and professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University, said in a statement.

The majority of the incidents -- about 68% -- were cases of verbal harassment while shunning or avoidance made up about 20.5%. About 11% of the incidents involved physical assaults, according to Stop AAPI Hate.

More than a third of the incidents -- 35.4% -- took place in businesses, 25.3% were in public streets and 9.8% in public parks. Nearly 11% of the reports involved online incidents, according to the organization.

Among those saying they've experience hate, 42.2% identify as Chinese, followed by 14.8% who said are Korean. Vietnamese and Filipinos make 8.5% and 7.9% of those reporting the incidents, respectively.

Stop AAPI Hate said it doesn't independently verify any of the reports it receives, but that its total number of incidents only includes those reports that came with a description.

"We just report what we receive. We do tend to believe the impacted person, especially as so many are willing to go on record and to speak publicly about what happened to them," Stop AAPI Hate said in a statement.

In recent months, advocates, actors and officials have come together to denounce violence following a string of attacks in California and New York that left several people severely injured and some dead.

Last week, President Joe Biden addressed the nation on the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 shutdown. During his speech, he condemned the hate and discrimination that Asian Americans have faced.

"Too often, we have turned against one another," Biden said. "A mask, the easiest thing to do to save lives, sometimes, it divides us, states pitted against one another, instead of working with each other, vicious hate crimes against Asian Americans, who have been attacked, harassed, blamed and scapegoated."

"At this very moment, so many of them, our fellow Americans, they're on the front lines of this pandemic trying to save lives, and still, still they're forced to live in fear for their lives just walking down streets in America. It's wrong. It's un-American. And it must stop," he added.

Hours before Biden's speech, two Democratic lawmakers reintroduced legislation in the House and the Senate calling for the expedited review of hate crimes related to the pandemic.

Rep. Grace Meng of New York, who sponsored the bill in the House, said she hopes the legislation tackles the "disgusting pattern of hate" that Asian Americans are facing since the start of the pandemic.