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Reports of Asian-American Hate Crimes Target of New Legislation

Lawmakers and advocates are pushing back against hate crimes directed at Asian-American residents as new statistics indicate an alarming number of incidents stemming back to early in the lockdown.

According to Stop AAPI Hate, which has been tracking discrimination and assault of Asian Americans around the country, there have been 3,795 incidents reported during a study spanning from March 19, 2020 to Feb. 28, 2021. Further, 11.1% of all physical assaults reported have come against Asian Americans; they are the third largest cohort represented in that category. The report also indicates women have reported incidents of hate nearly two-and-a-half times more than men.

police 862341 1920“The number of hate incidents reported to our center represent only a fraction of the number of hate incidents that actually occur, but it does show how vulnerable Asian Americans are to discrimination, and the types of discrimination they face,” it reads.

While investogators were still seeking to determine the exact motive or motives, last week six Asian women were among eight Atlanta residents murdered in area spas, sparking calls for greater protections for Asian Americans.

From Twitter

Judy Chu @RepJudyChu

"My deepest condolences to the friends and family of those killed in GA last night. And to the millions of Asian Americans living in fear after a year of violence and hate speech, I say you are not alone! It's time for us to unite to #StopAsianHate"

With hopes a legislative solution can help stem some of these incidents, some lawmakers are considering setting a new federal standard with respect to reporting and tracking hate crimes. According to Roll Call, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) Chairwoman Rep. Judy Chu said current laws are inconsistent—some communities might treat, for example, swastika graffiti as merely defacement while others might classify it as hate crime.

Chu, alongside members of the CAPAC, have been vocal in recent weeks about the apparent spike in Asian-American hate crimes and lauded President Joe Biden for making them a priority. “ … President Joe Biden gave a national address to mark the one year anniversary of the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in which he also condemned the ongoing spike in anti-Asian violence and hate speech. In just a ten month period last year, there were over 3,000 reported hate crimes and hate incidents against Asian Americans,” reads a statement from the caucus.

Biden called out the “vicious hate crimes” and condemned those who have “attacked, harassed, blamed, and scapegoated” Asian Americans, notes the CAPAC statement. Biden also pointed out the injustice facing those on the frontlines of the pandemic who are being targeted and forced to live in fear.

“The coronavirus pandemic has caused incredible pain for so many who have lost jobs or loved ones. None of us have been spared. And this is especially true for Asian Americans who, as President Biden noted, have been attacked and harassed because of misinformation and xenophobia that wrongly blamed them for this virus,” Chu said in a statement.

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