“Hate crime” has a specific legal definition, and it typically requires someone to be charged by police. Many colleges and universities across the country, however, allow students to make anonymous “bias” reports about anything they deem to be offensive, whether it actually is offensive or whether the intent was to offend or not.
An organization called Stop Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Hate collects reports of what people allege to be “hate incidents,” which can be anonymously reported and don’t have to rise to the level of a crime. The Stop AAPI Hate report collected 3,795 anonymously reported anti-Asian allegations between March 19, 2020, and February 28, 2021. Nearly 90% of those reports were allegations of “verbal harassment” and “shunning.” Physical assault, however, is the third most-reported category, with 11.1% of the total reports (that’s about 420 reports).
As for the location of these incidents, universities rank near the bottom of the list, with 2.5% of allegations allegedly occurring at universities. A look through the selected examples included in the organization’s report shows these incidents seem to happen a lot in progressive communities like those in California and New York. In fact, the organization found solid Blue States California, New York, and Washington were the three top states for reports of hate against Asian-Americans, comprising 62.34% of all the incidents. Texas came in fourth with 2.71% of incident reports, followed by three more Democrat-controlled states (Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Illinois).
The examples included in the report also come from many progressive cities like New York City, Brooklyn, and Milpitas, California.
Though Stop AAPI Hate explicitly states on its website that it does not use the phrase “hate crime” in its report “because not all occurrences are legally defined as crimes.” That hasn’t stopped news outlets from reporting them as crimes even without formal charges.
CBS News, for example, ran a segment at the end of March titled, “Asian Americans Battling Bias: Continuing Crisis,” which claimed the Stop AAPI Hate group found that “Nearly 4000 crimes against Asian-Americans have been reported since the start of the pandemic, an increase of about 150% in major U.S. cities.”
As The College Fix reported, student newspaper The Harvard Crimson has made the same error “at least four times in the past month, erroneously claiming that there have been 3,795 hate crimes reported against Asians in the past year, when there has not been.” In one of the erroneous articles, the Crimson mentioned a resolution from Harvard’s undergraduate council condemning violence against Asian-Americans following the shootings at several Atlanta, Georgia, spas that resulted in the deaths of six Asian-American women. So far, the shootings have not been determined to be a hate crime.
The Fix reached out to the Crimson numerous times to request a correction but was never answered.
“Neither the Harvard Undergraduate Council or [sic] the Graduate Council, which passed a similar resolution, responded to multiple emailed requests for comment in the past two weeks seeking a copy of the legislation. Tarina Huja, one of the sponsors of the resolution, did not respond to an email in the past week that requested a copy of the legislation,” the Fix wrote, adding that the authors of the Crimson articles have not responded either.
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