Rep. Ted Lieu, 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.
During the hearing, Lieu fired back at Republican colleagues who claimed the focus was on policing speech. Lieu made clear the hearing’s focus was about protecting Americans and called for people to stop using racist terminology to describe the coronavirus. “Whatever political points you think you’re scoring by using ethnic identifiers in describing this virus, you’re harming Americans who happen to be of Asian descent,” Lieu said. “So please stop doing that.”
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