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Hates crimes against Asians jumped 177% in California in 2021

According to a report by the Attorney General, hate crimes in California rose for the third straight year in 2021 and included a sizeable increase in anti-Asian crimes.

The California Department of Justice released its annual hate crime report on Tuesday morning, which recorded 1,763 reported hate crimes, up 33% from the previous year.

Hate crimes against Asian Americans recorded another year of triple-digit percentage increases, according to the report, with crimes growing 177.5% from 2020-2021. Last year, the number of anti-Asian hate crimes rose from 89 to 247.

“Today’s report reflects a grim reality that our diverse communities know all too well,” said California Atty. General Rob Bonta said at a news conference Tuesday morning. Bonta pointed out that the pandemic is giving way to an “epidemic of hate”.

Bonta said hate crimes have risen to levels not seen in California since the post-9/11 spike. At that time, hate crimes soared to 2,261 reported incidents.

Anti-Asian crimes have become a larger part of the state’s race-related hate crimes. Two years ago, Asian Americans were involved in about 8% of racial hate crimes. In 2021, that number rose to 21%.

During this time, most racial hate crimes were directed against black people. Hate crimes against black people increased 13% to 513 in 2021.

Hate crimes against Latinos also saw a 30% increase in 2021, and anti-Jewish hate crimes increased by 32%.

Bigotry has become more pervasive in recent years and has particularly increased during “conflictual events” like elections and protests, said Brian Levin, who directs the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino

“It’s no longer just the darkest corners of the internet, it’s in everything from sports to gaming,” Levin said.

Hate crimes saw a sharp rise in June 2020 following the police killing of George Floyd and the ensuing Black Lives Matter protests, Levin said. Historically, hate crime tends to fall after a surge, but that was not the case in 2020. Instead, the trend of hate crime growth has become “stickier and more protracted,” Levin said.

The report was created using data reported by local law enforcement agencies. Because some communities may be more reluctant to report crimes to law enforcement, Levin said the numbers may be underestimated.

“We have massive underreporting when it comes to hate crimes,” Levin said. “This is really a snapshot of a trend as opposed to the actual number.”

Reports of hate crimes against Asians began to rise in early 2020 as anti-Asian sentiment formed around the origins of the COVID-19 pandemic in China and then-President Trump’s rhetoric.

What followed were attacks on Asians in Oakland and San Francisco, and the fatal shooting of six Asian women at Atlanta-area spas in March 2021.

“These forms of discrimination and violence against our communities did not begin with the pandemic, nor are they new,” said Cirian Villavicencio, a member of the California Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander American Affairs.

“From the Japanese internment to the 1982 murder of Vincent Chen, our communities have historically been marginalized and stereotyped as perpetual aliens,” Villavicencio said.

https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2022-06-28/anti-asian-hate-crimes-in-california-jumped-177-in-2021 Hates crimes against Asians jumped 177% in California in 2021

Alley Einstein

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