While causing significant fear and trauma, the majority of hate incidents reported to Stop AAPI Hate are not hate crimes and would not be investigated or prosecuted as such.
In February and March 2020, Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI)
communities around the country experienced a surge in harassment,
bullying, and other acts of hate. News media cited an increasing number
of horrific attacks targeting AAPI community members. A large number
of these incidents employed anti-China rhetoric that blamed AAPI
communities for the emerging COVID-19 pandemic.
In response, Chinese for Affirmative Action, AAPI Equity Alliance (formerly the Asian Pacific Policy &
Planning Council), and San Francisco State University’s Asian American Studies Department launched
the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center on March 19, 2020. In the first week, we received over 600 reports
from across the country. Within one month, we received almost 1,500 reports.
Sadly, two years later, AAPI community members across the country continue to experience hate at
alarming levels. Everyday, we receive stories of anti-AAPI slurs, shunning, physical violence, or other
forms of discrimination. The patterns are consistent: these terrible incidents occur as people attempt
to go about their daily lives — buying groceries, riding public transit, or walking their children to school.
Community members share the fear and trauma that they experience as a result of these incidents.
Collectively, the voices of individuals who have reported almost 11,500 incidents to us over the past two
years have become a powerful tool. Not only have their stories garnered national attention on anti-AAPI
hate, the details that they have provided have facilitated a more nuanced understanding of what anti-
AAPI hate looks like. We now know that the majority of hate incidents, though harmful and traumatic, do
not meet the legal definition of a crime, and therefore require solutions beyond law enforcement.
This report shares what we have learned over the past two years and what it takes to address the
systemic root causes of anti-AAPI hate. Every individual traumatic incident reported to Stop AAPI Hate
reminds us of the urgent need to address systemic racism; our collective voice advocating for solutions
is how we will do it.
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