A bevy of Asian American leaders and activists on Thursday is poised to testify before a House panel on civil rights about the increase in discrimination and violence against their communities amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The 10 a.m. hearing will consider ways to stop racially motivated attacks because it examines both the historic and newer sorts of discrimination felt by Asian Americans, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., said during a handout.
“There has been an extended history of anti-Asian racism within us, especially during times of social or economic unrest,” Nadler said. “Unfortunately, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, this bigotry has reared its ugly head once more .”
The live-streamed hearing before the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties is slated to incorporate testimony from multiple Asian American lawmakers, including Sen. Tammy Duckworth, D-Ill., the primary Thai American woman elected to Congress. the opposite lawmakers are Reps. Doris Matsui and Judy Chu of California, and beauty Meng of New York.
Additional witnesses include leaders of Asian American advocacy groups, like Asian Americans Advancing Justice and therefore the Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council. Also on the list are attorney Wencong Fa of the Pacific Legal Foundation and Charles Lehman of the Manhattan Institute, also as three university professors.
Actor and producer Daniel Dae Kim, best known for his roles on the smash-hit television series “Lost” and “Hawaii Five-0,” is additionally listed as a witness.
Kim has previously spoken out against the growing problem of anti-Asian violence, blaming partially the incendiary rhetoric of former President Donald Trump, who repeatedly mentioned Covid because of the “China virus” despite a barrage of criticism that such language is racially charged.
“There’s no doubt that his rhetoric, in my mind, had an impact, but there are a variety of politicians who followed in those footsteps,” Kim told USA Today earlier this month.
“To blame one person doesn’t do justice to things. It’s really about the disrespect that was shown to a whole group of USA citizens,” he added therein interview. “This is what I feel is most vital altogether of this: you would possibly have your problems with the Chinese government and you would possibly even have problems with certain Chinese people, but the people being attacked are Americans in America who often haven’t any connection to China, and particularly the Chinese government.
”Trump, since leaving office after one term, has continued to ask Covid-19 because of the “China virus.”
Reported hate crimes against Asian Americans have skyrocketed since the virus, which experts believe originated in China’s city center of Wuhan, grew into an epidemic last March.
The advocacy group Stops AAPI Hate said Tuesday that it received 3,795 reports of hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders between Saint Joseph, 2020, and Feb. 28, 2021.
The group said during a handout that those reported incidents “represent only a fraction of the number of hate incidents that really occur, but it does show how vulnerable Asian Americans are to discrimination and therefore the sorts of discrimination they face.”
Democrats including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have called on Congress to pass legislation aimed toward improving hate-crime reporting and to supply more support to victims.
President Joe Biden and vice-chairman Kamala Harris have both spoken out about the surge in attacks on Asian Americans.
“Too often, we’ve turned against each other,” Biden said last week during a speech marking the one-year anniversary of the pandemic.
The president decried “vicious hate crimes against Asian Americans, who are attacked, harassed, blamed, and scapegoated,” saying, “it’s wrong, it’s un-American, and it must stop.”
Harris in mid-February vowed that the Biden administration would “continue to commit ourselves to combat racism and discrimination.”
Biden signed an executive order on Jan. 26 targeting xenophobia against Asian Americans. Advocates applauded the move but maintained that it’s not enough.
“This dark chapter in American history may be a moment when accountability and action are required to cause justice and peace,” California’s Asian Pacific Islander Legislative Caucus said.