Jul 5, 2020 - Health

800+ hate crimes against Asian Americans reported in California in 3 months

Members of the Asian American Commission hold a press conference in Boston as one woman holds a sign that says "My ethnicity is not a virus."

Photo: John Tlumacki/The Boston Globe via Getty Images

Stop AAPI Hate announced there have been 832 self-reported incidents of discrimination and harassment against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in California in the last three months.

The big picture: During the coronavirus pandemic, harassment and discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are "becoming the norm." The Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council and Chinese for Affirmative Action, which launched Stop AAPI Hate, said there have been 2,120 hate incidents across the country, but 40% of them occurred in California, CBS News reports.

"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."
— Russell Jeung, chair and professor of Asian American Studies at San Francisco State University

The state of play: Stop AAPI Hate reported that 81 of the incidents in California led to assault and 64 were potential civil rights violations.

  • Advocates have asked California Gov. Gavin Newsom to fund programs that fight bias and to add a cultural representative to his COVID-19 task force, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Worth noting: President Trump has previously been criticized for calling the coronavirus the "Kung flu" and the "Chinese virus."

  • Charissa Cheah, a professor of psychology at University of Maryland, Baltimore County, told the Washington Post Trump is "fueling these anti-Chinese sentiments among Americans … not caring that the people who will truly suffer the most are Chinese Americans and other Asian Americans, his citizens whom he’s supposed to protect.”

Go deeper: Taking coronavirus fears too far

Go deeper