President Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris did not mince words while condemning the rash of hate crimes against Asian Americans at Emory Univesity in Atlanta on 19 March.
Joe Biden: “That has to change, because our silence is complicity. We cannot be complicit. We have to speak out. We have to act.”
Kamala Harris: “Racism is real in America, and it has always been. Xenophobia is real in America, and always has been”.
There is much need for speaking out as the Black Lives Matter movement has shown beyond doubt.
Though the FBI says on its website that " Hate crimes are the highest priority of the FBI’s civil rights program", there is great variation on how states approach hate crimes. Three states do not even have hate crime laws.
On the one hand there is under-reportage because the targeted communities live in fear. And on the other, law enforcement is often wary of documenting the incidents reported as 'hate crimes'. For example, the recent shooting spree at Atlanta massage parlors.
Asian American activists are campaigning for change: Speak Out, Report is the mantra. At https://stopaapihate.org/ a victim can register a hate incident in 12 languages, including Hindi and Punjabi. The website also guides you how to react in a hate situation and report to law enforcement.
Activist Amanda Nguyen is very clear of how the AAPI community needs to steer itself. Listen to her after an analysis of the situation by CBS News.
WHAT IS A HATE CRIME? Source: Wikipedia
A hate crime (also known as a bias-motivated crime or bias crime) is a prejudice-motivated crime which occurs when a perpetrator targets a victim because of their membership (or perceived membership) of a certain social group or race.
Examples of such groups can include, and are almost exclusively limited to ethnicity, disability, language, nationality, physical appearance, religion, gender identity or sexual orientation. Non-criminal actions that are motivated by these reasons are often called "bias incidents".
We are all in this together: Let's put a stop to hate crimes against Asian Americans. Raise your voice.