16 Apr HEC Supports Congressional Efforts to Prioritize Racial Equity #StopAsianHate
April 16, 2021
There is no question our nation has witnessed a sharp surge in flagrant xenophobia and hate-based violence perpetrated against Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities during the pandemic.
In the past year, reports of anti-Asian hate crimes rose nearly 150% in major U.S. cities, resulting in numerous targeted street-side attacks and the horrific murders of eight people – including six Asian women in Atlanta last month. According to the Center for Study of Hate and Extremism, New York reported an 833% change in anti-Asian hate crimes compared to 2019, while Los Angeles reported a 114% change.
As outlined in our Health Equity Guidelines, signed by HEC and 32 other organizations, systemic racism needs to be addressed at every level of government and prioritized as a root cause that has significant impacts on health. A sustained commitment and establishment of an adequate infrastructure is needed to effectuate meaningful change and overcome racial injustices.
Fortunately, Congressional lawmakers have advanced efforts that would bring the necessary awareness, focus, and response to hate crimes and acts of discrimination against the AAPI community. Legislative action alongside a readiness by The Biden Administration’s CDC to address racism as a serious public health threat are critical steps towards real progress.
Outright condemnation of these acts is pivotal to confronting systemic racism of all minority communities, and efforts to address this must be commended.