BY JANELLE WONG AND SARA SADHWANI
The past year has shown the power of Asian American organizers to respond to community crises, particularly the killing of eight people, including 6 Asian American women, by a white gunman in Atlanta, Georgia on March 16, 2021.
New data from AAPI Data and Momentive, based on a survey of more than 16,500 adults, show that awareness of anti-Asian hate among the general public is relatively strong. Nearly half of those asked (48%) believe that anti-Asian hate crimes have increased over the past year, higher than the proportion that believe that anti-Black (29%) or anti-Hispanic/Latinx (20%) hate crimes have increased over the same period. Notably, all racial groups experienced a hate crime over the first months of 2022 at very similar rates to one another (10% of Black adults, followed by 9% of multiracial adults, 8% of Pacific Islanders, 8% of Asian Americans, 8% of Native Americans, 7% of Hispanic/Latinx, and 4% of White adults say that have experienced a hate crime or hate incident this year, in 2022). The data also show that a slightly lower proportion of Asian Americans and Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders said they experienced a hate crime over the first months of 2022 compared with the first months of 2021.
Higher awareness of anti-Asian hate crimes relative to awareness levels related to hate crimes against other groups underscores the effectiveness of the #StopAAPIHate and other movements. That all non-white groups experience similar levels of hate crimes – the new survey shows that 17 percent of Black, 16 percent of Asian Americans, 15 percent of Native Americans, 14 percent of Native Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders, and 13 percent of Hispanics/Latinx said they had experienced a hate crime from January of 2021 to March of 2022 – signals an opportunity for Asian American and other racial justice organizers to raise awareness and confront racialized violence in solidarity with other groups. Similar to previous surveys, Black people are most likely to say they have ever experienced a hate crime (35%). Nearly 30% of Asian Americans and Native Americans say they have “ever” experienced a hate crime.
Importantly, all non-white groups report similar levels of discomfort with reporting a hate crime to law enforcement authorities. For example, 11% of Black, 10% of Hispanic/Latinx, 9% of Asian Americans, 14% of Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 12% of Native American/Indian, and 13% of multiracial respondents said they felt “very uncomfortable” reporting a hate crime to law enforcement. And, at least another 10% each group claimed to feel “somewhat uncomfortable” reporting. Only 45% of Black, 56% of Hispanic/Latino, 57% of Asian American, 55% of Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 55% of Native American/Indian, and 54% of mutiracial respondents said they “agreed somewhat” or “agreed strongly” when asked if they were confident that justice would be served if they reported a hate crime.
The groundwork for solidarity among non-white groups to work together to decrease hate crimes is evidenced by survey results showing that nearly 90% of Black respondents considered themselves “a person of color,” and large proportions of Asian Americans (63%), Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islanders (61%), Hispanic/Latinx (48%), Native Americans/Indians (49%), and Multiracial people (57%) also considered themselves people of color.
The 2022 American Experiences with Discrimination Survey was conducted online by Momentive (formerly SurveyMonkey) was conducted online March 2-9, 2022 among a total sample of 16,901 adults ages 18 and over, including 1,991 Asian or Asian Americans and 186 Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders living in the United States. Respondents for these surveys were selected from more than two million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. SurveyMonkey used a third-party panel provider to obtain additional sample with quotas for Asian or Asian American and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander respondents.
The modeled error estimate for the full sample is plus or minus 1.0 percentage points and for the following subgroups: Asians+/- 3.0 percentage points, Blacks +/- 3.0 percentage points, Hispanics +/- 3.5 percentage points, Whites +/- 1.5 percentage points, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders +/- 8.0 percentage points. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, citizenship status, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over. An additional smoothing parameter for political party identification based on aggregates of SurveyMonkey research surveys is included.
On the question of hate crimes and hate incidents, all survey respondents were asked “Have you ever been a victim of a hate crime? That is, have you ever had someone verbally or physically abuse you, or damage your property specifically because of your race or ethnicity?” If they answered “Yes,” then they were asked three additional questions on whether they experienced hate crimes or hate incidents “before the coronavirus pandemic in 2020,” “last year, in 2021,” and “this year, in 2022.”
Respondents for these surveys were selected from more than two million people who take surveys on the Momentive platform each day. Momentive used a third-party panel provider to obtain additional sample with quotas for Asian or Asian American and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander respondents. The modeled error estimate for the full sample is plus or minus 1.5 and for the following subgroups: Asian American or Pacific Islander +/- 3.5 percentage points. Data have been weighted for age, race, sex, education, citizenship status, and geography using the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey to reflect the demographic composition of the United States age 18 and over. An additional smoothing parameter for political party identification based on aggregates of Momentive research surveys is included.
The survey was conducted in English-only. This limitation biases the sample toward Asian Americans who are U.S. born and English-dominant. Importantly, the majority of Asian Americans in the survey reported speaking a language other than English in their homes. Further, past studies, including the 2016 National Asian American Survey, show that U.S. born Asian Americans are more, not less, likely than their foreign-born counterparts to report experiences with discrimination in a survey context. As such, we can be fairly confident that the results above do not underrepresent reported experiences with discrimination.