Even before the series of attacks in Georgia that took the lives of half a dozen Asian women, Democrats in Congress were working to address the rise of hate against Asian Americans. Now Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has responded to the call for legislative action, admitting that he’s witnessed the rise in hate against people of Asian descent, but still opposes legislation.
In the clip below, via CSPAN, Senator McConnell says that as the husband of an Asian American woman, Elaine Chao, he has personally witnessed the rise in prejudice and attacks against Asian Americans. However, he still opposes legislation to fight this, saying that “legislative solutions have been perplexing.”
.@LeaderMcConnell: "As the husband for almost three decades of an Asian American woman I have noticed and we have experienced over the years racial prejudice against Asian Americans."
— CSPAN (@cspan) March 23, 2021
Speaking to NPR last week, Representative Grace Meng (D-NY) spoke of racially-based attacks Asian Americas were facing even before the shootings, describing a young mom being spat at while pushing her baby in a stroller, with her assailant yelling the words, “China virus!” She described how the former president’s use of terms such as this and “Kung Flu” helped promote this kind of hate.
She described proposed legislation that would help disseminate a message correcting these impressions. The COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act would expedite review of alleged hate crimes reported on the Federal level related to COVID-19, and issue guidance for state and local law enforcement in regard to COVID-19 hate crimes at those levels. It would also provide guidance for language use by health agencies to reduce the risk of perpetuating these stereotypes and further encouraging hate crimes.
President Joe Biden has issued a statement supporting the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, and encouraging its swift passage.
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Steph Bazzle reports on social issues and religion for Hill Reporter. She focuses on stories that speak to everyone's right to practice what they believe in and receive the support of their communities and government officials. You can reach her at Steph@HillReporter.com