More Americans are now blaming Asian Americans for Covid-19 than at the height of the pandemic in 2021, according to a report released Wednesday by Asian American advocacy groups.
More than 20 percent of respondents said this year that people of Asian descent are at least partly responsible for Covid-19, compared to 11 percent who said last year that the community was to blame. The study, released by Leading Asian Americans United for Change (LAAUNCH.org) and The Asian American Foundation (TAAF), also showed higher levels of distrust of Asian Americans.
Thirty-three percent of respondents said that people of Asian descent are more loyal to their perceived country of origin than to the U.S., compared to 20 percent who said the same in 2021.
“It does stem from the perpetual foreigner myth that Asians and Asian Americans, no matter if you’re born here or not, you’re always seen as just from your country of origin,” said Eric Toda, a board member of TAAF and LAAUNCH.
The study’s findings are in line with other recent studies on the rise of anti-Asian hate, including one from California State University Santa Barbara’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, which showed a 339 percent increase in anti-Asian violence between 2020 and 2021.
Still, nearly one-third of respondents said that they didn’t know that anti-Asian violence is getting worse.
Many Asian American respondents, meanwhile, reported not feeling like they belong in the U.S. Twenty-nine percent of Asian Americans said that they fully belong and feel accepted in the U.S., compared to 61 percent of white respondents and 33 percent of Black respondents. Asian Americans between the ages of 18 to 24 experienced even lower sense of belonging, at just 19 percent.
Despite the lack of recognition of the hate the Asian American community has been facing recently, more than 70 percent of all respondents said it’s essential to combat anti-Asian racism. Researchers also said that the findings indicate a need for more education about Asian Americans.
“I think education and representation go hand in hand in creating more empathy and more perspective,” Toda said.