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Sacramento reflects national trend of problematic discrimination towards Asian Americans

Emma Hall, The Sacramento Bee on

Published in News & Features

Negative stereotypes of Asians living in the United States continues to proliferate, according to a new study.

A majority of Asians living in the United States say discrimination against their communities is a major problem, new data from the Pew Research Center shows. Out of 7,000 Asians and Asian Americans surveyed, 58% say they have been treated unfairly because of their race or ethnicity.

Mark Lopez, director of race and ethnicity research at Pew Research, said COVID-19 has been “the forefront of attacks, discrimination, and hate crimes directed at Asian Americans.”

“The climate of this country is different today than it was 10 years ago,” Lopez said. “Oftentimes, the perpetrator would be linking what they’re doing in the situation with COVID and China.”

It’s an issue the Sacramento nonprofit Asian Resources Inc., which provides social services for immigrants, has seen firsthand.

Interim Executive Director Rejie Marie Baloyos said that anti-Asian hate was a “hidden issue,” but became more visible and apparent with COVID-19.

 

“It’s more deadly where people have been pushed on the street, where people are told to go back to their home country,” Baloyos said. “It has not just been an issue today…but now, it becomes more out there.”

Asian and Asian Americans make up 18% of the population in Sacramento County, according to the most recent U.S. Census Bureau data.

About a third of Asian Americans said they changed their daily routine in the wake of a rise in hate crimes last year, with many fearing threats and physical attacks, according to a similar 2022 Pew report. The same study cited that 81% of Asian Americans said violence against their communities is increasing.

To combat that locally, the Sacramento Senior Safety Collaborative and the ACC Senior Services, began offer free senior escort programs as a response to anti-Asian hate incidents. The program continues to operate and is open to seniors of all backgrounds.

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