Yes, there has been a spike in anti-Asian hate crimes during the COVID-19 pandemic

By Jennifer Baik, WHAS11 |

Unlike hate crimes, which according to the Department of Justice are typically violent crimes, incidents like verbal harassment and discrimination are not. This means there are many incidents involving hate and discrimination that would not be categorized as a hate crime. Data on hate incidents, or cases that have not been categorized as “hate crimes,” show a clear increase in incidents and attacks against those of Asian descent in America over the past year. 

Stop AAPI Hate documented 6,603 hate incidents in the U.S. from March 2020 to March 2021 with more still counting through present day. These incidents are self-reported and are continuing to be collected. The organization found that verbal harassment and “shunning,” or the “deliberate avoidance of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders,” make up the two most common types of incidents with physical assault comprising the third-largest category of reports. About 64.8% of all incidents were reported by women and 21.7% of incidents cite gender, language and religion as motivating factors for discrimination.

2021 survey from AAPI Data and SurveyMonkey conducted days after the mass shooting in Atlanta estimates that “upwards of 2 million Asian American adults have experienced anti-Asian hate incidents since the onset of COVID-19.”