Prominent AAPI Orgs Release Reports on continued xenophobia

NAPAWF and Stop AAPI Hate release new reports on anti-Asian racism, ahead of Atlanta spa shootings anniversary.


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It is almost two years since the start of the pandemic and the onslaught of harassment, discrimination and hatred towards Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders is still ongoing. 

Just in the first week of March, a 28-year-old man in NYC was arrested for punching 7 different Asian women in the face in one day, and Turkish-American TV personality Dr. Mehmet Oz tweeted an inflammatory anti-Asian statement, blaming China for “giving us” COVID-19. 

As the one year anniversary of the Atlanta spa shootings approaches, two prominent AAPI organizations released brand new reports on the current state of safety for this population, as anti-Asian sentiments and hate incidents continue to rise. 

On Wednesday, March 3, the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) released a survey highlighting the experiences of Asian American and Pacific Islander women with discrimination, harassment and violence. 

Sung Yeon Choimorrow, NAPAWF’S executive director, said that in 2022, the AAPI community has experienced a 339% increase in hate crimes, and that AAPI women have faced the majority of these attacks.

“The most recent deaths of two Asian American women in New York, nearly one year after the Atlanta shootings, is yet another reminder of a wave of violence targeting not just Asian Americans, but Asian American women,” Choimorrow said in a statement.

The report, The State of Safety for Asian American and Pacific Islander Women in the U.S., features data from a survey of over 2,400 AAPI women from every region of the country and across four ethnic subgroups: East Asian, Southeast Asian, and Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander (NHPI.) 

Over the past year, nearly 3 in 4 AAPI women report experiencing targeted discrimination, with more than half of respondents saying that a stranger was the perpetrator.

47% report incidents taking place in public spaces like restaurants and shopping centers, and respondents also reported experiencing discrimination and racism in familiar places where safety may be less of a concern like places of worship, schools, healthcare facilities and even within their own neighborhoods.

Over half of those surveyed said they feel less safe in public places than they did at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The climate of fear and anxiety created by persistent discrimination, harassment and violence is more than an issue of safety for AAPI women — it endangers their mental health, wellbeing, and happiness,” said Kyung B. Yoon, president of the Korean American Community Foundation. 

The report also included policy recommendations that would help end these xenophobic and misogynistic attacks. 

NAPAWF recommends more culturally-competent and language-accessible services in employment, housing and healthcare, improved data disaggregation, prioritization of AAPI women in federal, state and local budgets, and workplace protections. 

Stop AAPI Hate

On Thursday, March 4, Stop AAPI Hate, a national coaliton aimed at addressing anti-AAPI discrimination, has also released its latest national report, which contains nearly 11,000 self-reported hate incidents, as well as recommendations for policymakers on how to address this crisis. 

Last year on March 16, a man murdered eight people in a series of shootings in Atlanta across three Asian-run businesses. Six of those killed were Korean-American women. 

Stop AAPI Hate is releasing its latest self-reported incident count to continue raising awareness of the high levels of anti-AAPI hate, to encourage more AAPIS to continue reporting incidents, and to call on legislators to partner with the coalition and other organizations to create programs that prevent incidents and support victims. 

The coalition will also be marking the anniversary by supporting the efforts of AAPI communities in Atltants, where local organizations are holding an in-person vigil on the anniversary.

“AAPI communities across the country have experienced enormous amounts of pain and suffering, particularly the families of the victims of the Atlanta spa shooting. A year after that horrendous tragedy, we demand that state lawmakers invest in preventing anti-AAPI hate incidents and protecting our community,” said Russell Jeung, Ph.D., co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate.

Between March 19, 2020 and December 31, 2021, Stop AAPI hate has received a total of 10,905 reports of hate incidents against AAPIs across the U.S, with 535 incidents occurring from October to December 2021 alone.

Among the types of hate reported, verbal harassment continues to make up the biggest share of total incidents, physical assault is the second largest category, followed by deliberate avoidance of AAPIs in public, otherwise known as “shunning.”

Chinese Americans continue to report the most hate incidents (42.8%) of all ethnic groups, followed by Korean (16.1%), P/Filipinx (8.9%), Japanese (8.2%), and Vietnamese Americans (8.0%).

The report also provides gender-specific descriptions of hate incidents for AAPI women (6,506), AAPI men (3,290) and AAPI non-binary people (356). Non-binary people include individuals who self-identified as gender non-binary and gender non-conforming. 

The coalition received reports from all 50 states and D.C and included several first-hand accounts of racism, including this anonymous submission from a Fort Walton Beach, Florida resident. 

“I used to be a bagger at a grocery store and an elderly woman did not want me to bag her groceries because I am Filipino. She asked the cashier if me and my coworker were Filipino and then said she wanted someone else to bag her groceries because, “Filipinos are more likely to have COVID.”

The report recommends that state lawmakers create a statewide framework to prevent street harassment, take a gender-based approach to public transit rider safety, and strengthen civil rights protections against hate at businesses.

Stop AAPI Hate is also supporting efforts across the country to address anti-Asian racism through education. Illinois, New Jersey have already passed legislation for Asian-American studies, and other states are following close behind.


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