New Report Finds Nearly 3,800 Hate Incidents Targeting AAPI Individuals in Last Year – Murray, Cantwell Introduce Resolution Condemning Anti-Asian Hatred, Discrimination

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Patty Murray (D-WA) joined Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), and 33 of their Senate colleagues to introduce a resolution condemning all forms of anti-Asian sentiment, racism, and discrimination and calling on federal officials, in collaboration with state and local agencies and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community organizations, to address the rise in COVID-19-related hate crimes. The resolution was introduced in the wake of the recent shooting in Atlanta that killed eight people, including six women of Asian descent, and following a new report that AAPIs were targeted in nearly 3,800 hate incidents across the country since last March.  

"I stand with AAPI communities in Washington state and everywhere around the country. There must be accountability for the heinous violence we’ve seen, and we must stand up and speak out to stop the hate,” Senator Cantwell said.

“The violent hate crimes we have seen committed against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in Washington state and across the country are unacceptable and there must be accountability,” Senator Murray said. “These heinous acts have become increasingly common during the pandemic and as we work to address the broader consequences of systemic racism throughout our society, we must take steps right now to keep members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities safe and send a message that violence and hate crimes against these communities must stop immediately.”

The resolution:

  • Condemns all forms of anti-Asian sentiment, including racism, xenophobia, discrimination, and scapegoating, related to COVID–19;
  • Recognizes that the health and safety of all people of the United States, regardless of background, must be the utmost priority;
  • Calls on federal law enforcement officials, working with state and local agencies to:
  • expeditiously investigate and document all credible reports of hate crimes, harassment, bullying, and threats against AAPI communities;
  • expand data collection and reporting to document the rise in incidences of hate crimes relating to COVID–19; and
  • hold the perpetrators of those crimes, incidents, or threats accountable and bring such perpetrators to justice;
  • Calls on the Attorney General of the United States to work with state and local agencies and AAPI community-based organizations to prevent discrimination, and expand culturally appropriate education campaigns on public reporting of hate crimes;
  • Calls on the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in coordination with the COVID–19 Health Equity Task Force and AAPI community-based organizations, to issue guidance to mitigate racially discriminatory language in describing the COVID–19 pandemic; and
  • Recommits the United States to serve as a model in building a more inclusive, diverse, and tolerant society.

In addition to Senators Cantwell, Murray, Hirono, and Duckworth, the resolution is cosponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ben Cardin (D-MD), Tom Carper (D-DE), Bob Casey (D-PA), Chris Coons (D-DE), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Dick Durbin (D-IL), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Ed Markey (D-MA), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Chris Murphy (D-CT), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Jack Reed (D-RI), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Brian Schatz (D-HI), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tina Smith (D-MN), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Mark Warner (D-VA), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), and Ron Wyden (D-OR).

A similar resolution was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Grace Meng (D-NY) last month and now has 145 cosponsors.

The full text of the resolution is available HERE.