Nearly 75% of Chinese Americans report discrimination in past year
Nearly three out of four Chinese Americans say they have experienced racial discrimination in the past 12 months, and two in three feel a need to stay vigilant about hate crimes or harassment, a new study says.
The big picture: Three years after racial incidents targeting Asian Americans jumped as some people wrongly linked them to COVID-19, Chinese Americans continue to face episodes of discrimination.
- During Asian American Pacific Island Month in May, Axios will examine the state of Asian Americans — from accomplishments to obstacles, economic well-being and how Asian American history is being preserved in the U.S.
Details: Nearly half of Chinese Americans report being treated with less respect than other people, according to the study, one of the most extensive surveys of Chinese Americans ever conducted.
- More than a quarter say they've experienced bias or hate episodes such as being physically intimidated or assaulted, having their property vandalized or damaged, and being called racial slurs.
- The study found that eight in 10 Chinese American citizens were registered voters, and that 91% of those registered voters voted in the 2020 presidential election.
- Racism, crime, gun control, and the economy were identified as the top four most important issues facing the U.S. by the survey respondents.
Background: The study was organized by Columbia University and Committee of 100, a nonprofit led by prominent Chinese Americans in business, government, academia, health care and the arts.
- The nationwide survey was conducted online in English, simplified Chinese, and traditional Chinese from October 2022 to December 2022.
- Participants were chosen based on demographic characteristics, including gender, age, education level, English proficiency, U.S. citizenship, income level, and census data.
State of play: A supplemental report from the FBI indicates that overall hate crimes increased in 2021, rather than declining as the agency initially reported.
- But even the FBI's initial report found an uptick in hat crimes against Asian Americans.
- Anti-Asian American/Pacific Islander violence has been rising since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, according to the FBI and advocacy groups. In 2021, anti-Asian hate crimes in San Francisco increased by 567% from the previous year.
- From March 2020 to March 2022, Stop AAPI Hate counted nearly 11,500 hate crimes against Asian Americans nationwide.
Between the lines: Data on Asian Americans — especially Chinese Americans, who represent about 1.7% of the U.S. population — have been hard to come by because of a lack of studies and extensive surveys.
- Experts say the lack of data fosters stereotypes and false premises about Asian Americans being a "model minority" and masks disparities and inequalities.
What they're saying: “The Chinese American population is one of the fastest-growing ethnic groups in the United States, but is underrepresented in politics and policy," Gary Locke, Committee of 100 chair, said in a statement.
- “This important collaboration between Committee of 100 and Columbia University brings a critical and deeper understanding of the real experiences of Chinese Americans, not the stereotypical assumptions assigned to a ‘model minority’ group."
What's next: Researchers of the survey recommend incorporating or expanding Asian American history lessons across all levels of education, from K-12 to higher education.
- They also recommend increasing funding for language access to provide Chinese Americans with low English proficiency equal access to various services.