Anti-Asian Actions Condemned By Congress After Incidents Surge
WASHINGTON — Congress weighed in Monday on a surge in Asian hate crimes since the COVID-19 pandemic started with a resolution that condemns the stinging words and actions behind the incidents.
The resolution, H.R. 275, “reaffirms the commitment of the United States federal government to combat hate, bigotry and violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and to prevent tragedies like this from ever happening again.”
The resolution is not intended to enact new law, merely reinforce the need for vigilance against ethnic hatred.
“Hate and intolerance have no place in our country,” said Rep. James P. McGovern, D-Mass., chairman of the House Rules Committee.
Much of the discussion during the committee’s hearing on the resolution focused on the March 16 shootings at three Asian-owned spas in Atlanta, Ga. A young man shot and killed eight people and injured one.
Six of the deceased victims were Asian American women.
The resolution lamented the loss of each of them, including “49-year-old Xiaojie ‘Emily’ Tan, a hardworking mother and the owner of one of the spas,” who was described in the text as “a dedicated and caring business owner who is survived by her daughter and husband.”
Similar incidents tied to a roughly 150% increase in Asian hate crimes in the past year have “caused many Asian Americans across the United States to feel fearful and unsafe,” the resolution says.
It was timed to coincide with a new report last week from the nonprofit advocacy group Stop AAPI Hate, which showed the number of ethnic incidents that targeted Asians rose from 3,795 in March of last year to 6,603 in March of this year. AAPI stands for Asian American and Pacific Islander.
Some of the more alarming statistics in the report showed that physical assaults increased from 10.2% of the total hate incidents in 2020 to 16.7% in 2021.
“Online hate incidents increased from 5.6% in 2020 to 10.2% in 2021,” the group’s annual report says. “More incidents occurred in public streets (35.4% in 2021 compared to 26% in 2020), schools (9.7% in 2021 compared to 8% in 2020) and places of worship (1.7% in 2021 compared to 0.6% in 2020).”
It also included stories from individual victims, such as a Beverly Hills, Calif., woman who wrote, “My boyfriend and I were walking back home through the back alleyway attached to our complex. Two white men, who park back there and live nearby, tried to hit us with their car. We jumped out of the way and they missed us by inches. They then stopped and yelled out of the window at us ‘Go back to China!’ three times along with profanity.”
Rep. Tom Cole, R-Okla., described the House resolution as winning broad support in Congress.
“Certainly these are sentiments that all members share,” he said about the condemnation of ethnic hatred.
However, one congressman criticized the procedure for presenting H.R. 275 before the House Rules Committee.
It was written by Democrats and rushed into a hearing without an opportunity for amendments, such as from Republicans, said Rep. Patrick Fallon, R-Texas.
As a result, Fallon said it allowed partisan language to creep into it.
One part of the resolution appears to refer to language used by former President Donald Trump when it said that “the use of anti-Asian terminology and rhetoric related to COVID–19, such as the ‘Chinese virus’, ‘Wuhan virus’, and ‘kung flu’, has perpetuated anti-Asian stigma that has resulted in Asian Americans being harassed, assaulted, and scapegoated for the COVID–19 pandemic.”
Otherwise, Fallon also condemned Asian hate when he said, “Asian Americans have demonstrated great character.”
In The News
WASHINGTON -- House Democrats will pair a continuing resolution to keep the government open through December with an increase in... Read More
WASHINGTON -- House Democrats will pair a continuing resolution to keep the government open through December with an increase in the debt limit. The package is expected to be put up for a vote by next week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Senate Majority Leader... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats on Tuesday began the serious work of trying to implement President Joe Biden's expansive spending... Read More
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Democrats on Tuesday began the serious work of trying to implement President Joe Biden's expansive spending plan, but getting there will require remarkable legislative nimbleness, since Biden has said the revenue to pay for it must come only from Americans who earn... Read More
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne of Iowa was slow to get behind a $1 trillion infrastructure... Read More
DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — U.S. Rep. Cindy Axne of Iowa was slow to get behind a $1 trillion infrastructure bill after the Senate passed it last month. It wasn't the price tag that tripped up the Democrat from a swing House district. It was that... Read More
One of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for his role in inciting the... Read More
One of the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach former President Donald Trump for his role in inciting the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol announced Thursday night he will not seek reelection in Ohio next year. U.S. Rep. Anthony Gonzalez, a former NFL player... Read More
The White House is warning state and local governments about severe cuts to disaster relief, Medicaid, infrastructure grants. school money... Read More
The White House is warning state and local governments about severe cuts to disaster relief, Medicaid, infrastructure grants. school money and other programs if Congress fails to raise the U.S. debt limit. A fact sheet for state and local officials that was obtained by The Associated... Read More
WASHINGTON -- A congressional panel raised the chances Wednesday for President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Plan to succeed when... Read More
WASHINGTON -- A congressional panel raised the chances Wednesday for President Joe Biden’s Build Back Better Plan to succeed when it approved key portions of the bill. The House Energy and Commerce Committee voted to endorse parts of the $3.5 trillion proposal that would tackle air... Read More