Skip Navigation
We use cookies to offer you a better browsing experience, provide ads, analyze site traffic, and personalize content. If you continue to use this site, you consent to our use of cookies.
NEA provides guidance and resources for returning to classrooms safely, and with an emphasis on racial and social justice.
Learn More
Take Action

Standing Up to Hate and Bias Related to COVID-19

As the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases continues to rise across the United States, the FBI has issued an alert, distributed to law enforcement agencies across the country, warning of an increase in hate crimes targeting Asian Americans.
An Asian American girl sits alone
Published: 05/06/2020

Key Takeaways

  1. Referring to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus,” critics say, fuels bias and hate against Asian Americans.
  2. Hate and bias incidents are any hostile expression motivated by another person’s race, color, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity.
  3. An incident can be verbal, physical, or visual.

According to an FBI analysis obtained by ABC News, “hate crime incidents against Asian Americans likely will surge across the United States, due to the spread of coronavirus disease… endangering Asian American communities.” The FBI said it makes this assessment “based on the assumption that a portion of the US public will associate COVID-19 with China and Asian American populations.”

President Donald Trump, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and various Fox News commentators have repeatedly referred to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus” or “Wuhan virus.”

Such rhetoric, critics say, fuels bias and hate against Asian Americans, leading some to target Asian Americans with verbal confrontations, racial slurs or physical assaults.

“It’s racist and it creates xenophobia,” University of California at Berkeley Asian American studies lecturer Harvey Dong told The Washington Post. “It’s a very dangerous situation.”

“Hate crime incidents against Asian Americans likely will surge across the United States, due to the spread of coronavirus disease… endangering Asian American communities.”

Madeline Leung Coleman, a senior editor at The Nation, echoed these sentiments in a March 25, 2020, op-ed published in The Washington Post, writing: “This has had immediate, terrifying consequences for Asian Americans who could be perceived to be Chinese… The coronavirus may be new. But the hate it inflamed was there before, barely symptomatic and easily triggered.”

WHERE TO REPORT HATE OR BIAS INCIDENTS RELATED TO COVID-19

In this volatile national context, it is critical that advocacy organizations, law enforcement and state and local governments gather as much information as possible on hate crimes or bias incidents related to COVID-19.

Hate and bias incidents are any hostile expression that may be motivated by another person’s race, color, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation or gender identity. An incident can be verbal, physical, or visual.

You can report such incidents via the following organizations or governmental entities:

NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Asian Americans Advancing Justice. AAAJ is a national affiliation of five leading organizations advocating for the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and other underserved communities to promote a fair and equitable society for all. Their website features a reporting form where you can submit your story and help them track hate and bias. Click here to report your incident.

Chinese for Affirmative Action. CAA was founded in 1969 to protect the civil and political rights of Chinese Americans and to advance multiracial democracy in the United States. Today, CAA is a progressive voice in and on behalf of the broader Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Their website features a reporting form where you can report harassment, discrimination or bigotry related to COVID-19. The form is available in English, regular and simplified Chinese, Korean, Japanese and Thai. Click here to report your incident.

Harvard University, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations. This Harvard University department web page features a compilation of legal, social, and mental health resources for Asian and AAPI students who have experienced, or worry that they may experience, COVID-19 related harassment and discrimination.

OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates. OCA’s website — www.aapihatecrimes.org — has been a portal for community resources and reporting since the 1990s. The site now features information and a toolkit on COVID-19, as well as hate crimes reporting tools and community advocate resources.

BY STATE

California. The California Attorney General’s office has developed a brochure with information on how to identify and report hate crimes and the services available to victims of hate crimes. The hate crimes brochure is available in 14 languages: EnglishSpanishArabicArmenian (Eastern)CambodianChinese (Traditional)HindiHmongJapaneseKoreanPunjabiRussianTagalog and Vietnamese. The brochures can be downloaded, printed and shared online.

Illinois. Contact the Illinois Attorney General Hate Crime Report/Civil Rights hotline
at 877-581-3692

Michigan. Contact the Hate Crimes Unit of the Michigan Attorney General’s office via email at hatecrimes@michigan.gov or by phone at 313-456-0200.

New York. Contact the New York state Attorney General’s office via email at rights@ag.ny.gov or by phone at 1-800-771-7755.

Maryland. Contact the Maryland Hate Crimes Hotline at 1-866-481-8361.

Massachusetts. Contact the Attorney General’s office’s special hotline at 1-800-994-3228.

Minnesota. Contact the Minnesota Department of Human Rights via email at MDHR@state.mn.us or by phone at 1-800-657-3704.

New Jersey. Report hate and bias incidents via the Bias Crime Unit of New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice.

Oregon. Visit StandAgainstHate.oregon.gov, or call the Oregon Department of Justice hotline at 1-844-924-BIAS (844-924-2427) to report an incident and talk with trained staff.

Virginia. Visit the “No Hate Crimes VA” website of the office of the Attorney General of Virginia for details on how to report a hate crime in the state.

Does your state have a way to directly report hate incidents? Let us know by emailing neaedjustice@nea.org and we will update this page.

RELATED NEWS & RESOURCES

NEA provides guidance and resources for returning to classrooms safely, and with an emphasis on racial and social justice.
National Education Association

Great public schools for every student

The National Education Association (NEA), the nation's largest professional employee organization, is committed to advancing the cause of public education. NEA's 3 million members work at every level of education—from pre-school to university graduate programs. NEA has affiliate organizations in every state and in more than 14,000 communities across the United States.