Stop Asian Hate

One third of AAPI community faced racial abuse this year

By Gilda Balan, Correspondent

SAN DIEGO – It may come in many forms, but one out of three members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community have faced racial abuse this 2023.

According to a recent AP-NORC/AAPI data poll that came out recently at the PBS News Hour, despite widespread advocacies and even legislation to combat anti-Asian racism, about a third of the AAPI community say they experienced an act of abuse based on their race or ethnicity. This includes being on the receiving end of verbal harassment, slurs, physical threats, and cyberbullying, among others.

The new poll from AAPI Data and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research found that 15 percent of the AAPI community, which includes Filipinos and FilAms, say they have been victims of some form of hate crime.

Slightly more than half believe racism is an “extremely” or a “very serious” problem in the US.

The PBS News Hour report featured 29-year-old Jennifer Lee, a FilAm from San Diego. She recalled being discriminated against and being called racial slurs.

In a recent interview for a job at a tutoring service, she was twice insulted. First, she was assumed to be Japanese. Almost all Asians know that Lee is a Chinese name, and not Japanese, although it is also common for Filipinos and FilAms.

Secondly, she was told that, “You people are always so obedient. Why? That’s so pathetic.”

Stephanie Chan, director of advocacy group Stop AAPI Hate, says that they are aware that Asian Americans “are among the most likely not to report the crime that they’ve experienced.”

She added: “It’s really sobering to see that even when the world seems to have returned to normal, after the pandemic, these levels are still really elevated in terms of anti-Asian American hate.”

Many in the AAPI community are pessimistic about anti-Asian racism easing in the near future. Roughly half believe that they are likely to be victims of discrimination because of their ethnicity within the next five years, while about two in five believe it’s somewhat likely that they will be targets of hate crime based on their race within the same period.

Of those who have already fallen victim to some form of hate crime, one in five believe it’s “very” or “extremely likely” to happen again within the same time frame.

Chan said she hopes the poll will lessen people’s ignorance surrounding anti-Asian discrimination, adding that she further hopes people will understand it’s more than just hate crimes which tend to get the most media coverage.

She said, “People’s daily lives are impacted by things like verbal harassment or bullying in schools or online acts of hate or civil rights violations. Like not even being allowed to dine at a restaurant or stay at a hotel or being rejected for an Uber ride.”

“Pay attention to these,” said Chan, “These are the experiences that we’re having in America today.”