Distrust of Asian Americans growing in US: Poll
21% of respondents in a survey of over 2,500 US adults claimed they believed Asians were "partly responsible for Covid-19."
According to a new report, Americans continue to harbor distrust of their Asian counterparts and some even blame them for the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
While Asian Americans make up 7% of the population in the US, they report feeling isolated and discriminated against in the wake of rising anti-Asian violence and anti-Chinese political rhetoric.
Some 2,766 US adults were surveyed in a study by the nonprofit Leading Asian Americans to Unite for Change (LAAUNCH) and the Asian American Foundation (TAAF).
Of those surveyed, 21% believed Asian Americans to be responsible for Covid. That same belief was held by 11% of Americans surveyed in 2021.
Read more: 2021 Roundup: The rise of the radical right
33% held a belief that Asian Americans were "more loyal to their country of origin than to the US," a figure that is up from 20% last year.
Only 29% of Asian Americans believed they belonged and were accepted in the US, the lowest of all racial groups, while 71% believe they are discriminated against in the US.
The rise in mistrust of Asian Americans is being fueled in part by increased anti-China rhetoric on both sides of the aisle, according to TAAF CEO and LAAUNCH co-founder Norman Chen.
"On the surface, we thought it was Covid and Trump. Deeper down we know it's related to the model minority myth and perpetual foreigner stereotypes. But even deeper, it really [shows] the embedded systemic racism in this country against Asian Americans."
Eric Toda, who serves on the LAAUNCH board and TAAF advisory council, told Axios that "From the Chinese Exclusion Act of the 1800s to the internment camps of the 1940s to the murder of Vincent Chin in the 80s, this has always been a part of the fabric of the United States,"
The epidemic fueled a continuous increase in anti-Asian hate crimes as Asian Americans were blamed for Covid, dubbed the "China virus" and "Kung flu."
Anti-Asian hate crimes increased by 567 % in San Francisco and 361 % in New York City in 2021, according to police departments in those areas.
Some of the most heinous acts of violence were motivated by Covid-related hatred, such as in Texas in March 2020, when a man attacked a Burmese American family, including their 2- and 6-year-old children, because he thought they were Chinese and responsible for the epidemic.
Despite growing awareness of the issue, Americans are more likely than ever to blame persons of Asian heritage.
According to the poll, while the majority of respondents acknowledged that anti-Asian violence is on the rise, roughly one-third are uninformed of the situation.
According to Chen, "Politicians need to be very careful ... with all this bashing of China because it directly influences how people view and treat Asian Americans in the US."