Rising Voices and HIT Strategies conducted a groundbreaking and expansive poll of Michigan’s AAPI and Middle Eastern communities. Surveyed in January before the Atlanta shootings, the data reveals critical demographic information, including the alarming rise of anti-Asian racism experienced by the survey’s respondents. According to the poll, 41% of Michigan’s AAPI residents said they’ve either personally experienced or know someone who has experienced racist or anti-Asian comments because of coronavirus. The survey reflects the escalation of racist incidents and violence from the start of the COVID pandemic that led to the Atlanta shootings in March.
Despite the rising violence, Asian Americans in Michigan are mobilized and ready to engage politically. Fifty-seven (57%) of those who have experienced racism also believe the government should be doing more to solve it. The increase in anti-Asian rhetoric and violence over the last year has helped to galvanize the community and drive AAPIs to politics. In the 2020 general election, Asian American turnout increased more than any other demographic. Michigan’s AAPI community followed the national trend. A significant number of Asian Americans who said they did not vote in the 2016 general election, voted in the 2020 general election.