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April 28, 2021

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Tackle anti-Asian hate in the US

Multiple advocacy organizations and the Chinese business community in the United States are calling for actions to cope with the historic rise of hatred, violence and xenophobia targeting Asian and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in the country.

The United States reported a spurt of anti-AAPI crimes during the pandemic. According to Stop AAPI Hate, a California-based nonprofit social organization, it received nearly 3,800 reports of attacks or abuse against people of Asian descent between March 2020 and February 2021 and the real number of such incidents is believed to be far more than that.

In response to the horrific scenario, the US Senate last Thursday voted overwhelmingly to pass a bill combating surging hate crimes against Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.

While acknowledging such a gesture, the minorities in the United States are calling for concrete actions to protect them from hate crimes. A coalition of advocacy groups last Thursday voiced their appeals to the US law enforcement, elected officials, and government agencies to ensure a holistic response to the Anti-Asian hate problem, and recognize the urgent need to take concrete actions.

In particular, the US Attorney General and the US Department of Justice should set up a task force to specifically investigate and combat increased violence directed towards the AAPI community, stated a release by the Committee of 100, a non-profit organization of prominent Chinese Americans, which organized the action.

The coalition also called on the US Department of Justice to revisit its China Initiative, which instigates US judicial confrontations with China, and examine whether the program has caused the spike in prosecution of innocent Chinese American scientists. Senior executives and those in leadership positions should ensure that the AAPI community has a voice at the table, including in the boardroom, stressed the coalition.

“This coalition across communities showcases the strength and impact we together possess ... Collectively, we can work to put these horrific incidents in the past and move forward as one nation,” said Zhengyu Huang, president of the Committee of 100.

More than 10 advocacy groups in the United States joined the coalition.

Those organizations would meet on a quarterly basis to continue discussions of joint programs, activities and advocacy to combat anti-AAPI hate, said the release.

“Silence is unacceptable. Unity in combating hate is absolutely imperative,” said David Harris, chief executive officer (CEO) of the American Jewish Committee.

“Only through coordinated action can we prevent further acts of bias-motivated violence and hurtful scapegoating,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, CEO and national director of the Anti-Defamation League, the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Meanwhile, the Chinese business community is also working to fight anti-AAPI hate and violence.

“I would say we shouldn’t really feel that we need to be fearful about what’s going on ... You should be able to feel that you’re at home,” said Ni Pin, president of Wanxiang America Corporation, recently. Speaking of the China Initiative of the US Department of Justice, Ni said, “under that initiative, many people got a screening, which really is hurting American interests, American competitiveness, and for sure is gonna hurt the Asian American community.”

Ni said the business community should take the lead in fighting anti-Asian hate and violence as the companies have resources, funds and laptops.

The author is a Xinhua writer.


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