The number of biased crimes against the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community continues to increase nationwide. Several data reports have indicated an alarming surge across the country, with some major cities seeing over a 100% increase in AAPI targeted hate crimes.
While crimes against the AAPI community are not a new phenomenon, a surge in targeted attacks has been connected to the spread of COVID-19 misinformation. A new report released Wednesday indicates that Americans continue to wrongfully accuse Asian Americans of the spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. As a result, distrust of the AAPI community has increased.
According to the report released by nonprofits Leading Asian Americans to Unite for Change (LAAUNCH) and The Asian American Foundation (TAAF), 21% of U.S. adults now say Asian Americans are at least partly responsible for COVID-19.
Despite the increasing awareness around using the right language towards the coronavirus and how Asian Americans are being infected, people are still distrustful toward the AAPI community. What’s shocking is that the distrust has increased in the last few years, even further than when the pandemic first started. The new report indicates there has been an 11% increase in those who at least partly blame those of Asian descent in 2022 compared to data obtained in 2021.
Additionally, the report noted that 33% said they believe “Asian Americans are more loyal to their country of origin than to the United States”—that is a 20% increase from last year.
“It does stem from the perpetual foreigner myth that Asians and Asian Americans, no matter if you’re born here or not, you’re always seen as just from your country of origin,” said Eric Toda, a board member of TAAF and LAAUNCH, told NBC News.
While 71% of Asian American respondents noted that they are discriminated against, only 29% said they feel accepted in the country. According to the report, that was the lowest percentage of all racial groups surveyed.
“On the surface, we thought it was COVID and Trump. Deeper down we know it’s related to the model minority myth and perpetual foreigner stereotypes. But even deeper, it really [shows] the embedded systemic racism in this country against Asian Americans,” TAAF CEO and LAAUNCH Co-founder Norman Chen told Axios Today.
According to LAAUNCH, results were gathered online from 5,113 adults in the U.S. between February 10 and 28, with a 1.4% margin of error and a 95% confidence level.
Despite the lack of recognition of the hate the Asian American community has been facing recently, more than 70% of all respondents said it’s essential to combat anti-Asian racism. Researchers also said that the findings indicate a need for more education about Asian Americans.
Despite the number of those who expressed distrust in the AAPI community, more than 70% of respondents agreed it is essential to combat anti-Asian hate. Researchers also noted that the findings indicated a need for more education about the AAPI community, including Asian American history and prominent individuals.
“I think education and representation go hand in hand in creating more empathy and more perspective,” Toda told NBC News.