HomeAAPI Heritage MonthMost say hate against Asians has not increased, Asians disagree, survey finds

Most say hate against Asians has not increased, Asians disagree, survey finds

By Rachel Lu, AsAmNews Intern

Asian Americans continue to experience abuse and harassment, but, according to an annual survey from The Asian American Foundation (TAFF), only one-third of Americans think hate towards Asian Americans has increased.

The finding is part of a broader survey titled the “Social Tracking of Asian Americans in the United States,” or STAATUS Index, which TAAF released on the first day of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. The STAATUS Index is one of the leading reports on Americans’ attitudes towards Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders (AANHPIs).

The survey also found that 43% of Americans have no familiarity with recent attacks on Asian Americans, including the shootings at Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay.

However, Sruthi Chandrasekaran, the Director of Data and Research at TAFF, said these recent violent attacks have had a significant impact on the perception of safety for Asian Americans. In the last year, 32% of Asian Americans said they were called a slur, and 29% said they were verbally harassed or abused. Thinking ahead, 41% of Asian Americans think they are likely to be the victim of a physical attack in the next 5 years for their race, ethnicity, or religion. 

“These are startling statistics. And these are happening every day to people but obviously being invisibilized by those around us,” Chandrasekaran told AsAmNews. “We’re definitely seeing that the reporting around hate crime has come down. So maybe the general public is not aware. You know, [thinking] it’s something that peaked during COVID and is over now, so this issue is no longer an issue. But sadly, that’s not true. And we’re seeing that in our data.” 

A table from TAAF’s STAATUS Index Report 2024 showing whether or not Americans think hate against certain racial groups has increased.

Visibility

In the past year, Asian Americans achieved multiple historic wins on the red carpet. The movie Everything Everywhere All At Once took home seven awards at the Oscars, including its lead actress Michelle Yeoh being the first Asian person to win best actress. This winning streak was continued at the Emmys, with Ali Wong as the first Asian American actress to win Outstanding Actress in a Limited or Anthology Series or Movie for her role in BEEF

Despite making history under the limelight, the 2024 STAATUS Index found that only 38% of Asian Americans completely agree that they belong, with merely 18% completely agreeing that they are accepted in the U.S. for their racial identity.

In fact, the percentage of Americans who cannot name a famous Asian American person increased in the last year, from 26% in 2023 to a whopping 52% in the newly released survey. Those who do name Jackie Chan (9%), who is in fact not Asian American, or Bruce Lee (5%), who passed away over 50 years ago. Kamala Harris is the third most commonly named person, at an abysmal 2%. 

Chandrasekaran said the lack of visibility and sense of belonging despite these significant cultural moments comes down to the persistence of the model minority myth and the stereotypes it produces.

Survey results show that other Americans, including Black, Hispanic, and White Americans, see Asian Americans as having higher standing in education and finances as compared to their own racial group. 

“And that again, speaks to the thinking that ‘oh, there are no problems with the Asian American community, that’s the sort of community we should aspire to,” Chandrasekaran said. “[which are] the stereotypes that have been perpetuated over several decades.”

A table from TAAF’s STAATUS Index Report 2024 examines whether Asian Americans feel a sense of belonging

The survey also shows that there is an appetite for increased representation of Asian Americans in drama and comedy TV shows or movies. Americans also suggest increased education, boosting visibility, and increasing opportunities to interact with Asian Americans as possible ways to decrease racism. 

Pim Singhatiraj, a Thai Chinese American currently living in Brooklyn, New York, is an after school program director and previously an English teacher at a charter school. Singhatiraj taught at a predominantly Black and Brown school and recalled feeling isolated there due to a lack of Asian cultural visibility in the curriculum and at the school. 

Singhatiraj believes that bringing Asian American history and culture into the school curriculum can help bridge the understanding between different communities of color. As an English teacher, Singhatiraj suggests reading books by Asian authors and teaching historical events like the Chinese Exclusion Act or the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II.

“Other communities of color, especially Black folks, Brown folks, indigenous folks, might see Asians as proximate to whiteness. They might see us as like White people’s allies, but it would help other communities of color see that Asian folks have been in the fight as long as they have, and also as hard as they have,” said Singhatiraj. 

In this election year where politicians in both parties are using anti-China rhetoric, the STAATUS Index shows that education is more important than ever. Sixty-four percent of Americans felt that politicians need to distinguish between the Chinese government and its people when talking about China.

A table from the STAATUS Index Report 2024

The anti-China rhetoric has directly manifested into Americans’ support for restrictions on land ownership and jobs. This year, 45% of Americans are in favor of preventing foreign nationals, including those from China, from purchasing land. This is reflected in data that Asian Americans feel unsafe in their neighborhoods.

“So when you have that sense of ‘oh, I don’t seem to fit in here or people don’t see me fitting in here,’ that can make you feel very unwelcome and it definitely has implications for one’s mental health,” said Chandrasekaran. 

On the other hand, Chandrasekaran notes that there are some silver linings in the report that can guide us in our future direction.

“Seventy-five percent of Americans think that racist attacks against Asian Americans is a serious problem. So, you know, there is awareness, there is intention,” said Chandrasekaran. “There is interest in more education, more visibility, more interaction, and 7 out of 10 Americans think that immigrants or Asian immigrants have had a positive impact on American society.”

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.

2 COMMENTS

  1. This is a very interesting and important story. Thank you for the work and then sharing.
    A few comment for consideration.
    1) …..The survey also found that 43% of Americans have no familiarity with recent attacks on Asian Americans….. I watch a lot of crime shows and in a recent one a Black lady was asked why there was so little media coverage of her sister’s disappearance, and her response caught my attention: “this event does not fit the media agenda in any way and so it receives no attention. if there was a way to relate this to gun crime, etc etc it would have been all over the media.” I read a lot, and watch a lot of documentaries, and yet until I found this site I now realize what a limited view of our society I was getting from the media, in terms of AsianAmerican issues.
    2) At 75 years old I can say with certainty that in terms of morals, ethics and behavior American society is collapsing, and is basically unrecognizable as the society I grew up on. Also, some of the exact things that my AsianAmerican wife encounters happen to me as well (a reflection of the society collapse), but they happen to her more frequently (as we would expect for almost any minority component of any group)
    3) In closing, I think that the kind of news this site distributes is a good way to educate a portion of the population and counter some of the rude / aggressive behavior. There will always be an element of hard liners who have no interest in learning, but there are others with a more open mind who can be reached.
    PLEASE CONTINUE THE GOOD REPORTING. IT IS RECOGNIZED AND APPRECIATED.

  2. Thank you for the very well written article, Rachel! It sheds a lot of light on issues that the American public needs to hear about.

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