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Asian hate incident data shows discrimination skyrocketing in pandemic: Report

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(NEW YORK) — Hate incidents against Asian and Pacific Islanders in the United States are continuing to skyrocket during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a report released Thursday by a national coalition battling the problem.

The latest data from the group Stop AAPI Hate shows that 6,603 hate incidents against Asians and Pacific Islanders were reported to the organization between mid-March 2020 when the pandemic began to March 31, 2021.

The study shows that 2,410 hate incidents were reported in the first three months of this year, and 4,193 in the nine months tracked in 2020.

While 12.6% of the overall incidents reported to the group were physical assaults, 64.2% involved verbal harassment. Women reported 64.8% of the total incidents, according to the report.

Another 7.3% of the incidents involved online harassment, while 10.3% involved workplace discrimination, refusal of service and being barred from public transportation.

The surge in hate incidents shown in the report mirrors those found by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, which found that reporting of crimes that targeted Asian people rose by nearly 150% in major U.S. cities from 2019 to 2020.

The Stop AAPI Hate report comes even as more attacks on Asians and Pacific Islanders continue to occur at an alarming pace across the country.

Two Asian women, ages 63 and 84, were attacked and stabbed in broad daylight Tuesday on a busy street in San Francisco, police said. A 55-year-old man was arrested and charged with the attacks that sent both women to the hospital with severe injuries, police said.

“This is something that is happening to Asian people in our community specifically. This is a pattern,” San Francisco County Supervisor Matt Haney told ABC station KGO-TV in San Francisco.

The San Francisco attacks occurred a day after a 31-year-old woman was beaten with by a man with a hammer in Midtown Manhattan in New York City.

Among the incidents recorded in the Stop AAPI Hate report was a March 16 mass shooting at three Atlanta-area spas that left eight people, including six Asian women, dead. The suspected gunman, 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long, allegedly told investigators the shootings were not racially motivated but prompted by an “addiction to sex.”

Amid the wave of hate incidents, the FBI San Francisco field office announced a public service campaign this week to get victims to report crimes.

“The FBI is encouraging the reporting of all incidents of bias and hate by expanding public education and outreach. FBI San Francisco has launched a social media awareness campaign and currently is running an advertisement on a San Francisco Muni train to encourage the public to report hate crimes to the FBI,” the bureau said in a statement.

The Stop AAPI Hate group said the incidents it tallied in its report represent just a fraction of the abuse occurring across the county, much of it going unreported.

Of the incidents reported since the pandemic started, 40% have happened in California, while 15.1% have occurred in New York, 4.8% in Washington state, 3.3% in Texas and 3.2% in Illinois.

Chinese individuals accounted for 43.7% of the victims, according to the report. Koreans accounted for 16.6% of the incidents, Filipinos reported 8.8% of the hate incidents, and Vietnamese people reported 8.3% of the incidents.

The report also found that 37.8% of the incidents occurred on public streets or in parks, and 32.2% happened at businesses.

ABC News’ Luke Barr contributed to this report.

 

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