HomeCommunity IssuesSurvey shows that anti-Asian hate remains prevalent in NYC

Survey shows that anti-Asian hate remains prevalent in NYC

By Julia Tong

Four years after a spike in anti-Asian hate during the COVID-19 pandemic, many assume that hate crimes are on the decline. A new survey conducted by The Asian American Foundation (TAAF), however, challenges this theory.

TAAF’s survey measured the impact of hate crimes against Asian American communities in NYC. And it found that anti-Asian hate remained high— with many incidents not being reported to officials. 

“Our levels of hate crimes measured are still far higher than pre-COVID,” says TAAF CEO Norman Chen. 

“So it’s by no means safe out there. And what’s being reported is just the tip of the iceberg.”

TAAF’s new report— titled Asian American Perspectives: New York City Survey— interviewed approximately a thousand Asian Americans about their perceptions of safety in NYC. The interviews were conducted in four languages— English, Chinese, Korean, and Bengali— and included residents of all five boroughs in the city. 

Infographic about Asian American perceptions about Anti-Asian hate
The Asian American Foundation Graphic

The survey found that 1 in 2 Asian Americans in NYC had experienced hate— alarmingly, 1 in 5 faced physical attacks. 62% of respondents, meanwhile, reported witnessing a hate incident. 

These numbers, however, are not reflected in official hate crime data. TAAF’s survey found that fewer than half of those who experienced a hate crime reported the incident. Those victims usually reported crimes to a family member; only 54% reported cases to federal law enforcement. 

The reasons for this include systemic barriers such as language access and a lack of relationships with law enforcement. Cultural factors, plus the traumatic nature of hate crimes, also prevent victims from reporting, adds Chen. 

“People don’t want to let people know or share that they’re going through difficult times and really want to keep things private,” he says. 

This reflects how challenging hate remains for Asian Americans, even years after the COVID pandemic began. Over 70% of surveyed Asian Americans reported feeling unsafe in different public settings. Many changed their behavior in response: many, especially women, avoid taking public transportation. 

For instance, 56% of women report being fearful on public transportation, even avoiding taking it altogether. Elderly citizens, meanwhile, resisted speaking Asian languages in public. 

Infographic about anti-Asian hate
The Asian American Foundation graphic

“What its led to is people changing their behavior as our report states and also creating more fear among our community, which is leading to mental health issues and anxiety as well,” says Chen. 

However, the goal of the report isn’t simply to show how severe anti-Asian hate remains. TAAF hopes that the survey will serve as a foundation for future community efforts against hate crimes. 

The key to this, he says, are better relationships with law enforcement and government relationships. This includes advocating for more in-person training sessions and gatherings to build trust with the community, as well as in-language materials. 

Chen envisions that this work will be in conjunction with 20-25 community partners in TAAF’s “Anti-Hate network.” These organizations will work with city and state governments to continue fighting hate crimes across the city. 

“[We’re] working with them and truly trying to identify what solutions are, working in their communities that lead to better prevention and protection and even better policy,” says Chen. 

And these efforts are not limited to NYC. TAAF aims to expand the survey to cities across the country, seeing how each locale’s unique circumstances affects anti-Asian hate. 

Ultimately, Chen hopes these efforts will continue to bring awareness— and solutions— to the continued severity of anti-Asian racism across the country. 

“Anti-Asian hate is still very much present and affecting our community in cities like New York,” says Chen. 

“This is not by any step the end. This is just the beginning, not only in New York City but other cities around the country.”

AsAmNews is published by the non-profit, Asian American Media Inc. Follow us on FacebookX, InstagramTikTok and YouTube. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation to support our efforts to produce diverse content about the AAPI communities. We are supported in part by funding provided by the State of California, administered by the California State Library in partnership with the California Department of Social Services and the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs as part of the Stop the Hate program. To report a hate incident or hate crime and get support, go to CA vs Hate.


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