The House of Representatives passed a bill this week to address the spike in hate crimes and violence against Asian Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.
This sets the stage for President Biden to sign the bill in the month of May, a month set aside as Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Heritage Month. This year’s celebrations come in the midst of an upward trend in incidents of anti-Asian hate crimes nationwide.
According to a March 2021 survey by AAPI Data (a publisher of demographic data and policy research on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders) about one in four Asian Americans (27%) and Pacific Islanders (24%) indicate prior experiences with hate incidents, compared to the national average of 22 percent.
Even microaggressions, like having someone ask the seemingly innocuous question, “where are you from?" and assuming it’s not from the U.S. happens more often to AAPI folks than others: 64% of Asian Americans and 51% of Pacific Islanders report being badgered about their heritage, while the national average is only 20 percent.