Over 800 Asian American-Related Hate Incidents Reported in California

An image of Trump's notes at a press conference wherein the word "corona" is crossed out and replaced with the word "Chinese". (Photo credit: Getty)

The Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council‘s Stop AAPI Hate project reported in a press briefing this week that they have received over 800 reports of anti-Asian hate incidents in California alone. The group has previously said it has received nearly two thousand reports of anti-Asian hate incidents nationwide.

Trump has continued to use the term “Kung Flu” and “China virus” at press conferences and campaign rallies, despite repeated criticisms that the phrases contribute to disease racialization of COVID-19. Stop AAPI Hate is one of several hate crime trackers launched to record the effect of this racialization on Asian Americans, and data from these projects paint a stark picture of anti-Asian hate in recent months. Of the more than 800 reports from California that Stop AAPI Hate has received since its inception, approximately 10% have involved physical assault, and a further 8% have involved suspected federal civil rights violations, such as workplace discrimination.

Most alarmingly, Asian American women in California are nearly twice as likely to report experiencing an incident of anti-Asian hate than men — and that disparity is even more stark nationwide.

Asian American women in California are nearly twice as likely to report experiencing an incident of anti-Asian hate than men.

Stop AAPI Hate reports that nearly 70% of all reported incidents — both nationally as well as in California — involve verbal harassment. Examples include an incident in Verdugo City where a victim was told to “go back to China with your dirty diseases,” and a mother in Los Angeles who was told, “this fucking virus came from your motherfucking country.” 20% of incidents also involve shunning, wherein a victim is conspicuously avoided by someone in a public place. Other types of incidents include victims being coughed and spit on, or being barred from a business or from public transportation.

Incidents are occurring throughout spaces where people congregate, such as in places of business, as well as in public streets and playgrounds. Some victims are also reporting incidents of Zoom-bombing and other forms of online harassment. Famously, one woman was recorded on cellphone video earlier this year engaging in racist verbal harassment of several Asian Americans in a Torrance playground; she has recently been arrested and charged with battery for an earlier anti-Asian incident in 2019.

Stop AAPI Hate reports that while nearly half of victims are Chinese American, other East and Southeast Asian Americans are also experiencing an uptick in anti-Asian hate. Most victims who reported an incident to Stop AAPI Hate are in their 20’s, 30’s or 40’s, although ~11% of victims are elderly.

Nationwide, Stop AAPI Hate finds that the current trend of anti-Asian racism is strongly correlated with anti-Chinese sentiment. 27% of reported incidents mention “China” or the “Chinese”, with a significant proportion of those expressing animosity towards China or the Chinese, and blaming them for the pandemic. More than 15% of attackers use the term “Chinese virus” during attacks involving anti-Chinese rhetoric. Again, Asian American women are disproportionately experiencing this form of hate, and are 2.5 times more likely to be the victim of an incident involving anti-Chinese rhetoric than men.

Launched in March of 2020, Stop AAPI Hate is one of the largest community-run hate crime trackers currently operating in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Victims and witnesses are invited to report any incidences of anti-Asian hate they experience to Stop AAPI Hate, which will help to document the recent rise in anti-Asian hate crimes.

Incident Response Forms are currently available in twelve languages.

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