Over 30% of Asian-American residents in California experienced hate incident during pandemic: survey

by IANS |

Los Angeles, Jan 14 (IANS) Some 31 per cent of Asian American residents in San Gabriel Valley in Los Angeles county, one of the largest Asian communities in California and the US, said they or their family experienced a hate incident based on their race or ethnicity since the Covid-19 outbreak, a new survey has found.

According to the survey report published by two non-profit organisations, Asian Youth Center and Asian Americans Advancing Justice -- Los Angeles, on Wednesday, hate against the Asian community has been on the rise during the pandemic, with most of these hate incidents involving insults or verbal abuse.

Nearly half (45 per cent) of respondents to the survey feel less safe in their community compared to before the Covid-19 outbreak, and the majority (59 per cent) of respondents said they have changed the way they feel and behave when they leave home, Xinhua news agency reported.

The survey also found 55 per cent of respondents do not feel there is support in their community for victims of racial discrimination or harassment, while 49 per cent of parent respondents indicated they have concerns about their children returning to school regarding bullying and anti-Asian hate.

At the national level, Stop AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) Hate has received over 9,000 reports of hate incidents from March 2020 to June 2021, including over 5,700 cases of verbal harassment and over 1,200 cases of physical assault.

Mirroring national and county-wide trends, 219 anti-Asian hate incidents have been reported by San Gabriel Valley residents to Stop AAPI Hate since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, with 21 per cent reported by youth under 18 years, according to the report.

Over 300 residents responded to the survey, of which 284 met the eligibility criteria to be included in the final analysis.

"San Gabriel Valley is one of the most important Asian communities in California and we are here for individuals who don't know where to turn for confidential, safe support," said Connie Chung Joe, CEO of Asian Americans Advancing Justice -- Los Angeles, in a statement.

Michelle Freridge, Executive Director of Asian Youth Center, said in the statement, "We will continue addressing anti-Asian hate incidents in the San Gabriel Valley area of Los Angeles county through in-language community education, engagement, and mobilisation activities to empower residents to prevent, address and recover from anti-Asian hate incidents."

There are over half a million Asian Americans living in San Gabriel Valley. The region is known for its vibrant Chinese American community as Chinese Americans make up over half of its Asian American population. It's also home to large Filipino, Vietnamese and Korean American populations.

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