WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) joined Sens. Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), along with a number of his Democratic colleagues, in introducing a resolution to condemn all forms of anti-Asian sentiment, racism, and discrimination, and call on federal officials, in collaboration with state and local agencies and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community organizations, to address the rise in COVID-19-related hate crimes. The resolution was introduced in the wake of the Atlanta shooting—where eight people were killed, including six women of Asian descent, and following a new report that AAPIs were targeted in nearly 3,800 hate incidents across the country since last March.
“We’ve seen a rise in discrimination and violence against the AAPI community during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Brown. “We will not make progress until we acknowledge the role anti-Asian stigma has played in these horrific acts of violence and harassment. There is absolutely no place for racism and hate against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, and we need to stand together and make clear that we will not tolerate these threats and acts of violence against our neighbors.”
A similar resolution was introduced in the House of Representatives by Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) last month and now has 145 cosponsors.
· Condemns all forms of anti-Asian sentiment, including racism, xenophobia, discrimination, and scapegoating, related to COVID–19;
· Recognizes that the health and safety of all people of the United States, regardless of background, must be the utmost priority;
· Calls on federal law enforcement officials, working with state and local agencies to
o expeditiously investigate and document all credible reports of hate crimes, harassment, bullying, and threats against AAPI communities;
o expand data collection and reporting to document the rise in incidences of hate crimes relating to COVID–19; and
o hold the perpetrators of those crimes, incidents, or threats accountable and bring such perpetrators to justice;
· Calls on the Attorney General to work with state and local agencies and AAPI community-based organizations to prevent discrimination, and expand culturally appropriate education campaigns on public reporting of hate crimes;
· Calls on the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in coordination with the COVID–19 Health Equity Task Force and AAPI community-based organizations, to issue guidance to mitigate racially discriminatory language in describing the COVID–19 pandemic; and
· Recommits the United States to serve as a model in building a more inclusive, diverse, and tolerant society.
Full text of the resolution is available here.