Hate crimes targeting the Asian American community have reached unprecedented levels. A new compilation of hate crime data from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism showed that anti-Asian hate crime increased by 339 percent last year compared to the year before, with New York, San Francisco, Los Angeles and other cities surpassing their record numbers in 2020, NBC News reports. The significant surge is part of an overall 11 percent increase in suspected hate crimes reported to police across a dozen large cities. The report found that Black Americans remained the most targeted group across most cities. In New York, the Jewish community reported the most hate crimes last year, with researchers, linking increases to the three-week Gaza War in May. In Chicago, gay men were the most targeted. Los Angeles “recorded the most hate crimes of any U.S. city this century” in 2021 alone, with New York coming in just behind it.
John Yang of Asian Americans Advancing Justice AAJC, said that as the Asian American community weathers pandemic-fueled racism, the data prove that other groups deal with their own forms of hate, stressing that in times like this, “solidarity benefits us all.” The increase in reported anti-Asian hate crimes is significantly higher than it was in 2020, when they increased by 124 percent compared to the year before. New York City had a particularly drastic rise, from 30 to 133 anti-Asian hate crimes. San Francisco also experienced an alarming jump, from nine to 60 crimes. Yang said concern peaked around March, after eight people, six of them Asian women, were killed in shootings at Atlanta-area spas. Although some progress has been made, including increased awareness among elected officials, Yang said the issue hasn’t been remedied.