March 18, 2021
President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice, John C. Yang, submits this testimony to the House Committee on the Judiciary
Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC (Advancing Justice | AAJC) submits this written testimony to the U.S. House of Representative Committee on the Judiciary, Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties for its hearing entitled “Discrimination and Violence Against Asian Americans” on March 18, 2021.
The Asian American community has long struggled for visibility and equity, and now our communities face additional physical and mental health harms arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Most notably, there has been a sharp increase in anti-Asian hate incidents, with web-based self-reporting tools hosted by the Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council, Chinese for Affirmative Action, Asian Americans Advancing Justice, OCA – Asian Pacific American Advocates, South Asian Americans Leading Together, and other organizations recording over 4,000 incidents since late February 2020. While most of the incidents involve bullying, racial epithets, and verbal abuse and harassment, an increasing number of incidents have involved physical violence. For example, last spring a father and his two young children were stabbed at a Sam’s Club parking lot in Texas by an individual who thought that the Asian family had brought COVID-19 to the U.S.1 At the beginning of this year, we have seen heartbreaking violent attacks on vulnerable Asian elders, including Vicha Ratanapakdee in San Francisco, Juanito Falcon in Phoenix, and Pak Ho in Oakland, who have died as a result of their injuries. And, just two days ago, the murder of eight individuals, most if not all of whom are Asian. Although the motivations for some of these attacks are unclear, the effect is clear: Asian Americans no longer feel safe, and live in fear of attacks because of their race and ethnicity.
Download full testimony here