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More than 40% of US adults can’t name an Asian American

New York Daily News logo New York Daily News 5/14/2021 Brian Niemietz, New York Daily News
Jackie Chan wearing a costume: Jackie Chan arrives for the 89th Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles on February 26, 2017. © Lionel Hahn/ABACA PRESS/TNS Jackie Chan arrives for the 89th Academy Awards ceremony at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles on February 26, 2017.

A survey of 2,766 people in the U.S. found that 42% of those asked can not name one single prominent Asian American.

Nonprofit group Leading Asian Americans to Unite for Change said that “don’t know” was a common answer among those polled and that reply was shared pretty evenly between Black, white and Latino Americans.

“The Foreigner” star Jackie Chan, who is from Hong Kong, was the second most common answer, barely edging out fellow martial arts movie star Bruce Lee, who has been dead since 1973. Actress Lucy Liu was the most mentioned female Asian American, being named by 5% or those surveyed. Vice President Kamala Harris was named by 2% of those asked.


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Nearly 20% of respondents described Asian Americans as “Intelligent/Smart” with 9.3% calling the group “hard working.” Those were the top two responses. Only 2.6% felt Asian Americans are bullied or oppressed, despite studies showing hate crimes against them continue to skyrocket.

“This just shows that even when we’re in the news, people are not really soaking in the presence of Asian Americans in our country,” LAAUNCH co-founder Norman Chen told NBC.

Researchers also found that almost 80% of Asian Americans do not feel respected in the U.S. The survey found that 77% of Democrats feel Asian Americans are discriminated against while a majority of Republicans think Asian Americans are treated fairly or more advantaged.

The two-week study was mostly conducted last month.

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