Survey: Blacks, Asian Americans face discrimination during COVID-19 crisis

    A Japan Airlines worker wears a face mask while working inside a terminal at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) during the COVID-19 outbreak. Advocates are concerned about racist incidents against Asian Americans in Michigan and nationwide. | Mario Tama/Getty Images

    American adults said it has become more common for people to express racist views toward Asians since the COVID-19 crisis began, according to a recent Pew Research Center survey.

    Blacks and Asian Americans also are more likely than whites and Latinos to say they have been subject to slurs or jokes because of their race or ethnicity. However, Asian adults are the most likely to say this has happened to them since the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak. Asian adults (31%) said they have been subject to slurs or jokes because of their race or ethnicity since the outbreak began, compared with 21% of Black adults, 15% of Latino adults and 8% of white adults.

    Pew Research survey

    The center surveyed 9,654 U.S. adults between June 4 to 10. About half of Blacks (51%) said they have heard expressions of support because of their race or ethnicity since the coronavirus outbreak. Latino (29%) and Asian (28%) adults said the same.

    Nearly 40% of Americans said it is more common for people to express racist views about people who are Asian than before COVID-19, while 30% said it has become more common for people to express these views toward people who are Black.

    A majority of Asian adults (58%) said it is more common for people to express racist or racially insensitive views about people who are Asian than it was before the coronavirus outbreak. About 40% of white, Black and Latino adults said this is more common now. A considerable share of Black adults (45%) also said it is more common for people to express racist views about Black people than before the outbreak, more than the shares of white, Latino and Asian adults who said the same.

    Ken Coleman
    Ken Coleman covers Southeast Michigan, economic justice and civil rights. He is a former Michigan Chronicle senior editor and served as the American Black Journal segment host on Detroit Public Television. He has written and published four books on black life in Detroit, including Soul on Air: Blacks Who Helped to Define Radio in Detroit and Forever Young: A Coleman Reader. His work has been cited by the Detroit News, Detroit Free Press, History Channel and CNN. Additionally, he was an essayist for the award-winning book, Detroit 1967: Origins, Impacts, Legacies. Ken has served as a spokesperson for the Michigan Democratic Party, Detroit Public Schools, U.S. Sen. Gary Peters and U.S. Rep. Brenda Lawrence. Previously to joining the Advance, he worked for the Detroit Federation of Teachers as a communications specialist. He is a Historical Society of Michigan trustee and a Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metropolitan Detroit advisory board member.