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One Year After Atlanta Killings, Survey Shows Violence Against Asian Americans Persists

UMD Researcher Part of Team That Finds Continuing Hate Crimes Impact All Non-White Groups

By Maryland Today Staff

"Stop Asian Hate" protest in Times Square

One year after the Atlanta killings of eight people, including six Asian American women, a crowd in Times Square on Wednesday calls for action and awareness to combat incidents of violence against Asian Americans. A new survey led in part by a UMD researcher shows that hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders remain a serious issue.

Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

Hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders remain a serious issue one year after the Atlanta killings of eight people, including six Asian American women, according to a new survey led in part by a University of Maryland researcher.

With 16% of Asian American adults and 14% of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islander adults reporting a hate incident since the beginning of 2021, these proportions suggest that nearly 3 million adults from these groups have experienced a hate incident in a little over a year.

The 2022 survey, conducted online March 2-9 by AAPI Data and Momentive of 16,901 adults, including 1,991 Asian or Asian Americans and 186 Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders living in the United States, also reveals that Asian Americans are not alone in experiences of hate violence.

Critically, all non-white groups report experiencing hate crimes or hate incidents in the period from January 2021 through early March 2022—from 17% among Black adults, to 16% among Asian Americans, 15% among Native Americans, 14% among Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, and 13% among Latinos. Only 6% of White adults report experiencing a hate incident over the same period.

“These trends help to add critical context and data to the ways in which hate crimes and more everyday experiences with racial discrimination affect all non-white groups in the country,” said Janelle Wong, a UMD professor of American studies and Asian American studies and AAPI Data’s co-director.

The survey results show that Asian American women and men experience hate crimes and hate incidents at similar levels—28% and 30%, respectively, report having ever experienced hate incidents and 16%, or about one out of six in each group, report having experienced hate incidents since the beginning of 2021.

Accounts of self-reported incidents fail to capture the full scale of anti-Asian hate incidents. For example, the Stop AAPI Hate organization had logged about 11,000 hate incidents involving Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders as of December 2021, far short of the 3 million estimated incidents based on the survey findings.

The survey also found that nearly half (48%) of the general public believes that hate crimes against AAPI individuals have increased from the previous year, higher than what the general public believes for the Black (29%) or Latino (20%) community.

Similar to previous surveys, Black people are most likely to have ever experienced a hate crime or hate incident (35%). Nearly 30% of Asian and Native Americans say they have experienced a hate crime or hate incident during their lifetimes.

The survey also provides insights into a range of experiences with racial discrimination and racial identity among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and other groups:

  • More than one-third (34%) of Black people, 28% of Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders, 23% of Asian Americans, 18% of Latinos and 16% of Native/American Indians say that their race is a very relevant aspect of their background when it comes to how they are treated at work.
  • Two-thirds (63%) of AAPI adults consider themselves a person of color (compared with 87% of Black people, 48% of Latinos, 49% of Native or American Indians, 6% of white people).
  • AAPIs who say they are a person of color are more aware of the increase of hate crimes against their community (58% vs 39%).
  • AAPIs are among those most likely to say race is a relevant aspect of their identity at work (compared with 58% of Black people, 57% of AAPI, 41% of Latinos, 39% of Native Americans, 20% of white people).

“These data provide new and essential context on the persistent impact of the tragic events of the past year,” said Jon Cohen, chief research officer at Momentive. “Getting fresh insight into the incidences of hate crimes along with reports of day-to-day discrimination shine a spotlight on how AAPI individuals are thinking about and expressing their identities.”

This article was based on a release produced by AAPI Data.

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