LOS ANGELES–In 2021, Los Angeles County saw a 23 percent increase in hate crimes from 2020, reaching an all-time high since 2002, according to The State of Hate in Los Angeles, a new report released today by AAPI Equity Alliance (AAPI Equity). The report highlights the first year of work by the Los Angeles County grantees of California’s Stop The Hate program.
In the new report, AAPI Equity examines:
- the long history of hate in Los Angeles,
- causes and contributors to hate,
- strategies to prevent hate and mitigate the adverse outcomes of hate, and
- challenges in stemming the tide of hate.
“Hate is not new to Los Angeles,” said Manjusha Kulkarni, Executive Director of AAPI Equity and co-founder of Stop AAPI Hate. “It has been present since the displacement of the indigenous peoples of this land, and continuing through the post-9/11 era and the recent pandemic.”
According to the report, increases in hate-motivated violence and discrimination are rooted in prejudice, bigotry and racism, but they can be exacerbated by politics and national and global emergencies, such as 9/11 and the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as migration patterns and systemic segregation.
In an online briefing for members of the media, AAPI Equity invited Robin Toma, Executive Director of the LA County Human Relations Commission and LA vs Hate, to share his insights on hate in Los Angeles.
“The data that we have been seeing over the years has been very much disturbing,” Toma said, adding that “the level of hate across the board against so many targeted groups” is experiencing “a continual rise.” He thanked county officials for increasing resources and called for public officials to continue “building relationships with the community that can lead to a reversal in this rise in hate.”
During the briefing, Kulkarni shared how members of California’s Stop The Hate program are tackling hate head-on, but said there are challenges to the work, including barriers to changing the status quo; the need for increased resources for community organizations to sustain, tailor and scale-up direct services, as well as barriers to access for diverse communities, including lack of government or law enforcement response, language barriers and stigma.
Kulkarni and other speakers called for increased data equity and transparency regarding reports of hate incidents. Briefing participants included several Stop the Hate grantees from the Los Angeles Region, who shared how their community members are experiencing hate on the ground and some of their successful anti-hate strategies in year one of the grant.
Andy Ruiz, staff attorney for St. Johns Community Health, a Stop The Hate grantee, urged local and state officials to continue funding anti-hate programs.
“Continuing this funding or finding some actual permanent resources for these types of programs is essential because we have community members who will constantly need this type of work and assistance in the future,” Ruiz said. “I know stopping hate is something we want to happen overnight, but it’s not and it’s going to take a lot of years of work and those years need funding.”
A recording of the online briefing and a copy of the report, along with other background information, is available in AAPI Equity’s Electronic Press Kit.
Kiran Bhalla, Project Director for the Stop The Hate grant program at AAPI Equity said the new report focuses on the history of hate in Los Angeles and is limited in scope to sharing examples of the work done by the Los Angeles County grantees in year one of California’s Stop The Hate program.
Bhalla said the report is meant to open a regional conversation about the value and importance of anti-hate work, and the critical need to fund, expand and support anti-hate efforts.
AAPI Equity is the regional lead for California’s Stop the Hate program, currently overseeing 42 Los Angeles-based organizations providing anti-hate programs and services. For more information visit https://stopthehateca.org/.
# # #
AAPI Equity Alliance (AAPI Equity) is a coalition of over 40 community based organizations serving the diverse needs of the 1.6 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in Los Angeles County and beyond. It is dedicated to improving the lives of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders through civic engagement, capacity building, and policy advocacy.