The White House announced on Tuesday new plans to address the rise of anti-Asian violence reported throughout the country. Leaders speak out about the rise of anti-Asian violence: In the wake of the Atlanta shootings on March 16 which took the lives of eight people including six Asian women, Asian American lawmakers and activists gathered for a congressional hearing held by the House Judiciary Committee.
Congresswoman Judy Chu of California and Grace Meng of New York testified that former President Donald Trump’s rhetoric fueled racist attacks against people of Asian descent, according to CBS.
Trump had put “a bull’s eyes on the back of Asian Americans across this country, on our grandparents, on our kids,” Meng said.
Meng also reintroduced a bill addressing anti-Asian American hate crimes in February.
Senator Tammy Duckworth added, “Blaming the AAPI community for a public health crisis is racist and wrong.”
Congressman Steve Cohen, the chair of the Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties, noted that “anti-Asian hate did not begin with the COVID-19 pandemic, and it will not end when the pandemic is over. All the pandemic did was exacerbate latent anti-Asian prejudices that have a long and ugly history in America.”
President Joe Biden also addressed the attacks in the aftermath of the shooting.
“Too many Asian Americans have been walking up and down the streets and worrying, waking up each morning the past year feeling their safety and the safety of their loved ones are at stake,” he said in a statement. “They’ve been attacked, blamed, scapegoated, and harassed. They’ve been verbally assaulted, physically assaulted, killed…”
Acknowledging that racism against the AAPI community is “often met with silence,” Biden encouraged Americans to speak out and act on these issues.
The details: In a fact sheet released by the White House on Tuesday, the Biden administration laid out new actions to combat the violence and “advance safety, inclusion, and belonging for all Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities.”