LOS ANGELES (Xinhua) — Asian Americans in California have self-reported 832 incidents of discrimination and harassment in the last three months, according to the new data collected by a coalition of Asian American groups.
Stop Asian American Pacific Islander Hate, the leading aggregator of incidents against Asian Americans during the pandemic, released the findings during a Wednesday virtual conference.
The Stop AAPI Hate reporting center was founded by the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, Chinese for Affirmative Action and San Francisco State University’s Asian American Studies Department.
The incidents included 81 assaults and 64 potential civil rights violations.
The new report shows that incidents of racism and discrimination are not isolated to any particular area but are a statewide problem in California as Asian Americans have reported incidents in 34 counties so far in the most populous state of the United States, adding that incidents are reportedly taking place in California in retail stores, in the workplace and online.
“Anti-Asian American harassment has also been further stoked by President Trump’s repeated use of the term ‘Kung Flu’ in recent rallies, and as recently as last night, comments on Twitter scapegoating China for the United States’ devastating failure to control the coronavirus,” said the groups in a statement.
They noted that discrimination and harassment of Asian Americans in California has drawn national attention recently after a series of videos in Torrance, California featured a woman using graphic racist language against Asian Americans.
“The viral video of racism in Torrance is one example of hundreds. It’s the tip of the iceberg of anti-Asian American hate and discrimination,” said Russell Jeung, Chair and Professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University.
“Without government accountability, we risk COVID-related racism against Asian Americans becoming deeply entrenched, ultimately impacting the lives of millions of people in California and around the country.”
“Racist demagoguery matched with anti-immigrant policies have always been used to deny Asian Americans full social and political rights,” said Cynthia Choi, co-executive director of Chinese for Affirmative Action.
“In California, we have to do more than condemn racist rhetoric – we must take bold action today to address attacks whether they happen in grocery stores, in the workplace or in the schoolyard,” Choi added.
Stop AAPI Hate sent a letter to California governor Gavin Newsom Tuesday night to recommend the establishment of a Racial Bias Strike Team comprised of key state agencies and departments to oversee workplace and employment discrimination, provide mental health services to vulnerable communities, and offer support to local Asian American-serving organizations.