Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., was among a group of Asian American lawmakers and advocates who testified March 18 before the House Judiciary Committee about discimination and violence their communities are facing.
In 2020, hate crimes toward Asian American and Pacific Islanders in major U.S. cities grew nearly 150 percent. Since the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, the group Stop AAPI Hate recorded at least 3,795 reported incidents of hate. The crimes have been violent in numerous situations, including on Tuesday when a gunman killed eight people, including six Asian American women, at Atlanta area spas. In Chu’s congressional district in California, a Chinese American man was attacked in February at a bus stop with his own cane, causing him to lose part of a finger.
“This has become almost a daily tragedy and has had a chilling effect on our community,” Chu said. “The Asian American community has reached a crisis point that cannot be ignored.”
Part of the problem, according to Chu, is rampant misinformation wrongly associating Asian Americans with the coronavirus’ geographic origins, stoked by former President Donald Trump. “Asian Americans must not be used as scapegoats in times of crisis,” she said. “Lives are at stake.”
Stream your PBS favorites with the PBS app: https://to.pbs.org/2Jb8twG
Find more from PBS NewsHour at https://www.pbs.org/newshour
Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://bit.ly/2HfsCD6
PBS NewsHour podcasts: https://www.pbs.org/newshour/podcasts