Why it matters: Asian Americans, who make up 7% of the U.S. population, feel increasingly isolated and discriminated against amid sustained anti-Asian violence and increasing anti-China political rhetoric.
State of play: 21% of U.S. adults now say Asian Americans are at least partly responsible for COVID — up from 11% in 2021.
- That’s according to a study from the nonprofit Leading Asian Americans to Unite for Change (LAAUNCH) and The Asian American Foundation (TAAF).
- 33% said they believe “Asian Americans are more loyal to their country of origin than to the United States”— up from 20% last year.
- Among Asian American respondents, only 29% said they “completely agree” that they feel they belong and are accepted in the U.S., which was the lowest of all racial groups.
- Meanwhile, 71% say they are discriminated against in the U.S. today.
What they’re saying: The increase in distrust of Asian Americans is in part driven by greater use of anti-China rhetoric on both sides of the aisle, TAAF CEO and LAAUNCH co-founder Norman Chen said.
- “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.”
- “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,” Eric Toda, who serves on the LAAUNCH board and TAAF advisory council, told Axios Today.
Flashback: The pandemic drove a sustained surge in anti-Asian hate crimes as people scapegoated Asian Americans for COVID, calling it the “China virus” and “kung flu.”