Forty years after Vincent Chin, a Chinese American man, was scapegoated and beaten to death by two white men in Detroit who were angered over the loss of jobs to Japanese companies during an economic downturn, hate incidents against Asian Americans continue to surge, a new study found, reports The Guardian. Between March 2020 and March 2022, more than 11,400 hate incidents against Asian Americans have been reported across the United States, according to Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition that tracks incidents and advocates for combatting hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. The findings signaled a persistent rise in harassment, verbal abuse and hate speech that have plagued Asian communities since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. The group identified more than 9,000 hate incidents in the pandemic’s first year.
A separate study by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism found that hate crimes against Asian Americans rose 339 percent nationally between 2020 and 2021. Two-thirds of the incidents reported to Stop AAPI Hate between March 2020 and 2022 involved some form of verbal or written harassment, and two in five incidents occurred in public spaces. Women were twice as likely to report hate incidents as men. Physical assaults accounted for 17 percent of incidents, and nearly one in 10 occurred on public transit. California, which has the nation's largest population of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, accounted for the highest number of reported incidents, with more than 4,000, followed by New York and Washington state. In response to the escalating reports of anti-Asian violence and anti-Asian rhetoric, President Biden signed the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act in March 2021, which incentivizes police departments to improve data collection on hate incidents and develop better practices to prevent and respond to hate crimes. Critics say that the law fails to get to the root cause of the violence and that it could lead to over-policing.