WASHINGTON, D.C. [03/26/21]—In the wake of the recent Atlanta shooting—where eight people were killed, including six women of Asian descent—U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (D-Minn.) helped introduce a resolution to condemn all forms of anti-Asian sentiment, racism and discrimination. The resolution, led by Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) also calls on federal officials, in collaboration with state and local agencies and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community organizations, to address the rise in COVID-19-related hate crimes. 

Sens. Klobuchar and Smith said that AAPIs were targeted in nearly 3,800 hate incidents across the country since last March, according to this report. 

“As we see a rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans, we are again reminded that these crimes inflict trauma not just on individual victims but on entire communities,” said Sen. Klobuchar. “We must condemn this hateful rhetoric and violence and ensure that the perpetrators are held accountable.”

“We need to join together and stand up against racist hate crimes towards Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders,” said Sen. Smith. “This means speaking out against dangerous anti-Asian rhetoric related to COVID-19 that has contributed to the sharp rise of these events. And this means rooting out white supremacy violence in all its forms. This resolution sends a clear message that hate crimes should have no place in the United States.”

The resolution:

  • Condemns all forms of anti-Asian sentiment, including racism, xenophobia, discrimination, and scapegoating, related to COVID–19;
  • Recognizes that the health and safety of all people of the United States, regardless of background, must be the utmost priority;
  •  Calls on federal law enforcement officials, working with state and local agencies to
    • expeditiously investigate and document all credible reports of hate crimes, harassment, bullying, and threats against AAPI communities;
    • expand data collection and reporting to document the rise in incidences of hate crimes relating to COVID–19; an;
    • hold the perpetrators of those crimes, incidents, or threats accountable and bring such perpetrators to justice;
  • Calls on the Attorney General to work with state and local agencies and AAPI community-based organizations to prevent discrimination, and expand culturally appropriate education campaigns on public reporting of hate crimes;
  • Calls on the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in coordination with the COVID–19 Health Equity Task Force and AAPI community-based organizations, to issue guidance to mitigate racially discriminatory language in describing the COVID–19 pandemic; and
  • Recommits the United States to serve as a model in building a more inclusive, diverse, and tolerant society.

 The full resolution text is available here.

 

Issues