Pew Research study finds Asian Americans still face prejudice, discrimination
By Gilda Balan, Correspondent
According to an article in VOANews based on the report, roughly one in three Asian Americans have been told to go back to their home country. Forty-four percent of Asian Americans between the ages of 18 to 29 said they know an Asian American person who has been personally threatened or attacked since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Pew Research Center study was based on a survey of more than 7,000 respondents. It found that the majority of Asian Americans believe too little national attention is being paid to their experiences with discrimination.
“Discrimination is nothing new against Asian Americans,” according to Neil Ruiz, head of Pew’s New Research Initiatives and co-author of the study.
As far back as the 1800s, Asian Americans “have endured relentless stereotyping, and Ruiz’s study highlights a paradox at the center of that.
According to the VOANews article, Asian American communities have been stereotyped as model minorities for decades, seen as “loyal and hardworking.”
Despite this, Asian Americans have been ostracized and treated as what activists and scholars have dubbed “forever foreigners.”
Asian American Ruiz was quoted by VOANews as saying that they found “that 78 percent of Asian Americans have been treated as a foreigner in some way, even if they were born in the US.”
Besides being told to go back to their home country, Asian Americans have also been ridiculed for speaking in a language other than English in public or having one’s name pronounced incorrectly.
Ask any of the tens of thousands of Filipino nurses working in US hospitals and medical centers if they have ever gotten dagger looks or been flat-out warned to avoid speaking in their native Tagalog, or else.
Asian American Studies professor Russel Jeung of the San Francisco State University says fighting anti-Asian hate or prejudice means creating spaces where people “feel free to share how they are hurt or how others might be hurt” by offhand remarks.
There are some 23.5 million Asian Americans who make up 7.1 percent of the US population. Year 2021 saw anti-Asian hate crimes rise to an all-time high, while 2022 was the second worst year on record.
It remains to be seen if the figures are indicative of a downward trend, or if the worst is yet to come.