Professor tracks racism against Asian Americans during COVID-19

The professor who heads up San Francisco State University's Asian American studies department has launched a new video designed to fight racism against Asian Americans resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Russell Jeung said the "Stop AAPI Hate" website he helped start in mid-March shows a large number of reported incidents since the shelter-in-place order went into effect.

But he said that number is only the tip of the iceberg.

Jeung said a large number of racist incidents against Asian Americans go unreported.

Some victims and their advocates said they feel embarrassed and humiliated.

Jeung's video is part of his effort to track racist behavior and hate crimes triggered by the coronavirus.

"To give Asian Americans a voice and create policies to stop the hate," said Jeung.   

The professor teamed up with Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council, and Chinese for Affirmative Action to launch the website where people can submit anti-Asian incidents online.

In just two months, he said there have been 1,900 incidents, most are of Asian Americans being harassed or shunned.

"We're getting these cases from across the country, in 45 states. Racism on the surge against Asian Americans," Jeung said.

"We shouldn't resign ourselves to it because it's happening," said Sandy Fong-Navalta of San Francisco. 

She said while walking to work near Chinatown, a man directed racist comments at her.  

"Put on a f-king mask, you're spreading the coronavirus, you f-ing whore," Fong-Navalta recalled him saying.

She said she also saw a white man verbally harass an older Asian man on Muni. 

"You stupid Chinaman. You're the reason why we have corona," Navalta recalled. 

The professor fears the racism directed at Asian Americans may worsen even after the pandemic is over.

"The economy tanking, being sheltered in place, the deaths from COVID-19, making people more fearful and angry," said Jeung.   

The professor says the video will be distributed throughout the California State University system.

He said he hopes the video will help change the narrative to promote empathy and compassion towards Asian Americans during these difficult times.

Jeung is also calling on Governor Gavin Newsom to form a statewide task force to address anti-Asian violence and harassment

Amber Lee is a reporter for KTVU.  Email Amber at and follow her on Twitter@AmberKTVU.