Poll: 1 in 3 Asian Americans Faced Hate Crimes in Past Year

May is recognized as Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, but it comes amid a disturbing trend of rising anti-Asian hate crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic. Advocacy groups and community organizations are forming to provide resources and support, with events like the Lantern Festival for Justice and Remembrance.

author-image
Salman Akhtar
New Update
Poll: 1 in 3 Asian Americans Faced Hate Crimes in Past Year

Poll: 1 in 3 Asian Americans Faced Hate Crimes in Past Year

May is recognized as Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month, a time to celebrate the cultural traditions and contributions of these diverse communities. However, the month-long observance has taken on heightened significance in light of a disturbing trend: the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to a recent poll by AAPI Data and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, about 1 in 3 Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders have faced hate for their identity within the past year. The survey found that 15% of AANHPI individuals reported being victims of hate crimes, and 51% considered racism an "extremely" or "very serious" problem in the United States.

Why this matters: The alarming rise of anti-Asian hate crimes has significant implications for social cohesion and community safety, highlighting the need for increased awareness and action to combat racism. Moreover, this trend underscores the importance of promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in all aspects of society to prevent further marginalization of vulnerable groups.

TheSTAATUS Index 2024 surveyby the Asian American Foundation paints an even grimmer picture. Nearly one in three Asian Americans have been called a racial or ethnic slur in the past year, and nearly 3 in 10 have been verbally harassed or abused in the past 12 months due to their race, ethnicity, or religion. Alarmingly, 41% of Asian Americans believe they are likely to experience physical assault in the next five years because of their identity, compared to 31% of all Americans.

Karen Umemoto, director of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center, sees the increased participation in AANHPI Heritage Month activities as a sign of the community's growing voice. "I think the visibility and the level that the increased participation of organizations in Asian Pacific Heritage Month activities is also an indication of the increasing voice of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in civic life more generally," Umemoto said. "And also an indication of the spaces that we've come to collectively enter to be able to create those."

In response to the rise in anti-Asian hate, advocacy groups and community organizations have formed to provide resources and support. AAPI New Jersey is one such nonprofit that was established in the wake of the pandemic. The group has organized events like the Lantern Festival for Justice and Remembrance to honor victims of hate crimes and racial injustice.

President Joe Biden, in an official AANHPI Heritage Month proclamation, recognized the invaluable contributions of the AANHPI community. "As artists and journalists, doctors and engineers, business and community leaders, and so much more, AA and NHPI peoples have shaped the very fabric of our Nation and opened up new possibilities for all of us," Biden stated.

The White House plans to hold a celebration on May 13 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders. The event aims to highlight the progress made and the work that still needs to be done to address the challenges facing the AANHPI community, including the ongoing fight against racism and discrimination.

Key Takeaways

  • May is Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) Heritage Month.
  • 1 in 3 AANHPI individuals face hate for their identity, with 15% reporting hate crimes.
  • Racism is a serious problem in the US, with 51% of AANHPI individuals considering it "extremely" or "very serious".
  • Advocacy groups and community organizations are providing resources and support to combat anti-Asian hate.
  • The White House is hosting a celebration on May 13 to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the White House Initiative on AANHPI.