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Standing Up to Hate and Bias Related to COVID-19

At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the Spring of 2020, anti-Chinese and anti-Asian rhetoric flowed from the highest elected officials in the United States.

Madeline Leung Coleman, a senior editor at The Nation, wrote at the time in a March 25, 2020, op-ed published in The Washington Post: “This has had immediate, terrifying consequences for Asian Americans who could be perceived to be Chinese… The coronavirus may be new. But the hate it inflamed was there before, barely symptomatic and easily triggered.”

“It’s racist and it creates xenophobia,” University of California at Berkeley Asian American studies lecturer Harvey Dong told The Washington Post. “It’s a very dangerous situation.”

The FBI, drawing the same conclusion, issued an alert, distributed to law enforcement agencies across the country, warning of an increase in hate crimes targeting Asian Americans. The FBI analysis stated, “hate crime incidents against Asian Americans likely will surge across the United States, due to the spread of coronavirus disease… endangering Asian American communities.” The FBI said it makes this assessment “based on the assumption that a portion of the US public will associate COVID-19 with China and Asian American populations.”

Two years into the pandemic, there have been multiple high profile violent attacks against Asian Americans.

According to a recent report, The State of Safety of Asian American and Pacific Islander Women in the U.S.:

Hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) have risen sharply since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. AAPI women face a disproportionate burden of anti-AAPI hate with 62% of all national hate incidents being reported by AAPI women.

Policy Recommendations

Asian American Advancing Justice has released a set of policy recommendations to guide elected officials  and local communities in taking active steps to protect and support AAPI people.

Key recommendations center on providing community-based interventions to hate violence, and culturally and linguistically accessible, community-based services for survivors and their families. Read the full set of recommendations here.

Where to Report Hate or Bias Incidents Related to COVID-19

In this volatile national context, it is critical that advocacy organizations, law enforcement and state and local governments gather as much information as possible on hate crimes or bias incidents against AAPI people. 

Hate and bias incidents are any hostile expression that may be motivated by another person’s race, color, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity. An incident can be verbal, physical, or visual.

You can report such incidents via the following organizations or governmental entities:

National Organizations

  • Asian Americans Advancing Justice
    AAAJ is a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all. Their website features a reporting form where you can submit your story and help them track hate and bias. Click here to report your incident.
  • Stop Asian Hate
    Stop Asian Hate’s mission is to advance equity, justice and power by dismantling systemic racism and building a multiracial movement to end anti-Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Hate. Their website features recent data on AAPI Hate incidents and access a form to report hate incidents and ways to take action – including local resolutions.
  • Chinese for Affirmative Action
    CAA was founded in 1969 to protect the civil and political rights of Chinese Americans and to advance multiracial democracy in the United States. Today, CAA is a progressive voice in and on behalf of the broader Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Their website features a reporting form where you can report harassment, discrimination or bigotry related to COVID-19. The form is available in English, regular and simplified Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Thai. Click here to report your incident.
  • Harvard University, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations
    This Harvard University department web page features a compilation of legal, social, and mental health resources for Asian and AAPI students who have experienced, or worry that they may experience, COVID-19 related harassment and discrimination.
  • OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates 
    OCA’s website — www.aapihatecrimes.org — has been a portal for community resources and reporting since the 1990s. The site now features information and a toolkit on COVID-19, as well as hate crimes reporting tools and community advocate resources.

By State

  • California
    The California Attorney General’s office has developed a brochure with information on how to identify and report hate crimes and the services available to victims of hate crimes.The hate crimes brochure is available in 14 languages: EnglishSpanish, Arabic, Armenian (Eastern), Cambodian, Chinese (Traditional), Hindi, Hmong, Japanese, Korean, Punjabi, Russian, Tagalog and Vietnamese. The brochures can be downloaded, printed and shared online.
  • Illinois
    Contact the Illinois AttorneyGeneral Hate Crime Report/Civil Rights hotline
    at 877-581-3692
  • Michigan
    Contact the Hate Crimes Unit of the Michigan Attorney General’s office via email at hatecrimes@michigan.gov or by phone at 313-456-0200.
  • New York
    Contact the New York state Attorney General’s office via email at rights@ag.ny.gov or by phone at 1-800-771-7755.
  • Maryland
    Contact the Maryland Hate Crimes Hotline at 1-866-481-8361.
  • Massachusetts
    Contact the Attorney General’s office’s special hotlineat 1-800-994-3228.
  • Minnesota
    Contact the Minnesota Department of Human Rights via email at MDHR@state.mn.us or by phone at 1-800-657-3704.
  • New Jersey
    Report hate and bias incidents via the Bias Crime Unit of New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice.
  • Oregon
    Visit StandAgainstHate.oregon.gov, or call the Oregon Department of Justice hotline at 1-844-924-BIAS (844-924-2427) to report an incident and talk with trained staff.
  • Virginia
    Visit the “No Hate Crimes VA” website of the office of the Attorney General of Virginia for details on how to report a hate crime in the state.

Does your state have a way to directly report hate incidents? Let us know by emailing neaedjustice@nea.org and we will update this page.


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