Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have growing concerns about their safety amid attacks that have targeted them during the pandemic, according to a Pew Research Center survey released on April 21.
Roughly one-third of Asian Americans feared someone might threaten or physically attack them, a larger share than all other races. More than 80% say violence against them is increasing.
Researchers conducted the survey following the March 16 shooting at three Atlanta-area spas that claimed the lives of eight people, including six Asian women. The interviews, conducted in both English and Spanish, included responses from more than 5,100 adults across races, including 352 Asian Americans.
Pew found that 45% of Asian Americans experienced one of five specific offensive incidents, including being told to go back to their home country, people acting uncomfortable around them, or being blamed for the coronavirus. Additionally, 32% noted that “someone has expressed support for them since the start of the pandemic.”
While the vast majority of Asian Americans felt that violence against their community is increasing, roughly 56% of the general American adult population felt the same increase in violence.
When asked about the reasons for the violence, around 20% of Asian American respondents cited former President Donald Trump and his “China virus” rhetoric for the rise in attacks. Others attributed it to broader racism against Asian Americans and the impacts of Covid-19 on the nation.
The survey also showed that Asian Americans reported discrimination at similar rates before the pandemic. In February 2019, 76% of Asian American adults said they had personally experienced discrimination or unfair treatment because of their race or ethnicity. This year, 73% of Asian Americans reported discrimination, according to Pew.