Asian Hate Crime Legislation

April 22, 2021: US Legislation Bans Anti-Asian Hate Crimes

In recent weeks, people of Asian ancestry in America have experienced a frightening, humiliating and dangerous series of attacks by some Americans.

Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York, at the passage of “Stop Asian Hate” legislation in Washington DC..

The stress of the global pandemic in America, experienced by every person, family and business, has combined with false information about the COVID-19 virus and historic fear of Asians as being “foreigners.” This volatile mix has led to many painful experiences, in which Asian Americans have been physically and emotionally attacked, and many feel vulnerable.

In times of crisis, sometimes we see the worst aspects in people; sometimes we see the best. The global pandemic has revealed many examples of both.

This situation has affected our family and friends personally. People of Asian and Pacific-Island origin are highly respected, valuable members of the American community, adding immeasurably to the depth and beauty of the American tapestry. America would not be the America we love, without Asian-Americans and Pacific-Islanders.

Fortunately, strong legislative action has been taken, and more is on the way. In a vote in the U.S. Senate, virtual unanimity, almost unprecedented in recent years, was achieved today, with a 94-1 vote in favor of a bill that establishes a new office at the Justice Department to protect Asian-Americans. The bill also encourages the creation of state-run hate crime hotlines, provides grant money to law enforcement agencies that train their officers to identify hate crimes and introduces a series of public education campaigns and arts programs around bias against people of Asian descent.

See the full text of Senate Bill 937,117th Congress

Senator Mazie Hirono of Hawaii personally spoke with many of the 100 Senators, and assured that this bill would pass, with support of many other Asian-American legislators. Passage is expected shortly in the House of Representatives, after which the Act is expected to be signed into law by President Joseph Biden.

Here is a full report from the New York Times. (PDF)

by Michael North,
writing in Reciprocal Journal