Asian Americans Report Nearly 750 Incidents of Verbal Harassment, Shunning, Physical Assault

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Since its official launch on March 19, STOP AAPI HATE reporting center has received nearly 750 reports of coronavirus discrimination from Asian Americans across the country.

A3PCON Executive Director Manjusha Kulkarni speaks during a video teleconference.

Emerging trends include:

• Almost 100 reports daily, with 5.5 percent from limited English speakers

• Women are three times more likely to report harassment than men

• Asian Americans of different ethnicities are being racially profiled; 61 percent of respondents are non-Chinese

• Verbal harassment/name calling is the most commonly reported type of discrimination, making up two-thirds of all reports

• With shelter-in-place policies, Asian Americans are more likely to face coronavirus discrimination in public and at businesses, especially grocery stores, pharmacies and bi- box retail stores

Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council (A3PCON), Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA) and San Francisco Asian American Studies Department, the co-founders of the site, have issued the first weekly report, which can be found here.

During a video teleconference on Friday, Manjusha Kulkarni, executive director of A3PCON, said, “We’re seeing it at grocery stores, big box retail, on public streets and public transit. All of this is preventing Asian American families from getting groceries, filling prescriptions, even going for a short walk around the block because they are fearful for their safety. It is morally reprehensible. Now is the time to be our better selves. It is our hope that people will come together rather than be apart.

“We are currently providing support to a child who had to go to the emergency room after he was assaulted and accused by bullies of having the coronavirus, and so that tells us we may need to work with schools to address shunning and school bullying but we need to know how widespread it is.”

Individuals who have experienced hate as a result of COVID-19 to continue to report at www.a3pcon.org/stopaapihate. The incident report form is available in English, simplified and traditional Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese and Thai, with Khmer, Tagalog and a few South Asian languages coming soon.

The lead organizations are working with public, private and other community-based organizations to develop targeted education and media campaigns, to provide resources for impacted individuals and to advocate for policies and programs dedicated to curtailing racial profiling.

“The data from our reporting center — both the numbers and the self-reported narratives — clearly reveal that Asian Americans are being racially profiled as threatening, disease-carriers. Not only are Chinese Americans blamed and mistreated, but Asian Americans of other ethnic backgrounds are also being targeted,” stated Russell Jeung, Ph.D., chair and professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University.

Cynthia Choi, co-executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action, added, “Clearly the rise in hate incidents are heartbreaking and disturbing and point to a need to counter misinformation and bigotry. We need to make significant investments in public education efforts and to take stronger stances against all forms of hate.”

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