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Online Tool Tracks Racist Incidents Toward Asian Americans During COVID-19 Crisis

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An online tool tracking racist incidents toward Asian Americans in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic has received more than 670 reports in one week of collecting the information, about a third of them from California.

Two thirds of the accounts reported to STOP AAPI HATE involved verbal harassment, followed in number by shunning, like when someone moves seats when an Asian person sits down. About 13 percent of reported incidents were of physical assault or being spat upon.

One of the leaders of the Asian American organizations behind the STOP AAPI HATE said the expectation is that the number of reports will increase.

“With the spread of the contagion of the virus, we are also seeing the spread of the contagion of racism,” said Manju Kulkarni, executive director of the Los Angeles-based Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council (A3PCON). “Unfortunately, remarks made by the president largely have not been helpful and in fact, have put people in harm's way.”

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President Trump has repeatedly referred to the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus,” reasoning that it was first detected in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

Some of the insults reported to STOP AAPI HATE were anti-Chinese, but more than 60 percent of those targeted were Asians of other ethnicities. Three-quarters of those who made reports to the online forum were women.

The reporting tool was set up in a partnership between A3PCON, Chinese for Affirmative Action in San Francisco and the Asian American Studies Department at San Francisco State University.

Respondents can make reports in one of six languages: English, Chinese (simplified or traditional), Vietnamese, Japanese, Thai and Korean. Kulkarni said soon reporting forms will be available in Tagalog, Khmer and some South Asian languages.