Anti-Asian hate crime in U.S. skyrocket since pandemic began

August 13, 2021 - 18:31

Despite increased national awareness and action against anti-Asian hate attacks, a new report has found such incidents have increased on the Asian Americans in 2021. Observers say the majority of the intended attacks are against the Chinese community residing in America.

According to Stop AAPI Hate, from March 2020 to June 2021, there were more than 9,000 reports of anti-Asian American hate incidents. 

4,548 of the attacks occurred in 2020, while 4,533 incidents happened in 2021.

The non-profit organization, which tracks incidents of hate and discrimination against Asian Americans, says the number increased from 6,603 to 9,081 during the last three months of the reporting period.

In a news release, Manjusha Kulkarni, co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate and executive director of the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council said "our data clearly shows that Asian Americans across the country continue to be attacked and that the hate incidents that we have been tracking since March 2020 are not going away”.

The study found that verbal harassment and deliberate avoidance of Asians make up the majority of hate incidents, followed by physical assaults and being coughed at or spat on.

A majority of the victims of the reported hate incidents were women. 

The organization says "the implications are clear: the surge of racism and xenophobia has not abated, If elected officials continue to scapegoat Chinese people for the spread of the pandemic, things will only get worse."

Stop AAPI Hate has called for investment in education, outreach, and "more holistic solutions to combating hate in schools and places of business."

Separate research conducted earlier this year found hate crime incidents against Americans of Asian descent increased by 164 percent. The study said the attacks were documented in only 16 major U.S. cities. 

Several factors contributed to the data, from an increase in anti-Asian rhetoric to a greater desire by the Asian community to report the crimes. 

The study also noted that as the economy opened up in the past few months, it meant more public interactions and opportunities to attack Asian Americans. 

The increase in anti-Asian violence was first reported in March 2020 as COVID-19 began spreading across the nation and some politicians, including former President Donald Trump, blamed China for the Pandemic. Trump regularly described the Pandemic as the Chinese virus, which many observers say triggered attacks on Asians by his supporters. 

Experts say the former President tried to pin the blame on Beijing to divert strong criticism of his administration’s mishandling of the Pandemic, which has led to the United States having the worst covid death toll in the world.