Congresswoman Strickland on Anti-Asian Violence
"I am proud to be Asian I belong here "
Immense sorrow, fear and anger blanketing Asian communities as a disturbing uptick in the number of anti-Asian hate crimes continues across the world.
This highlighted by the shooting spree directed at several Atlanta-area businesses that left six Asian women dead.
"Just try to get people to do something about all the stuff happening, which is super complicated. But protesting is one way to do it"
"It's nothing new and it's not going to go away."
A rise in hate crimes aimed at Asian Americans - would the long history of racism persist for more decades to come or would the public outcry turn into an opportunity to stamp out the racism virus?
It's the topic of our News In-depth tonight and joining us from Tacoma, Washington is Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland, a Democrat from Washington State.
Congresswoman, I'm sorry about the circumstances, but I appreciate this chance to talk with you.
She is the first U.S. Congress member of both Korean and African American heritage.
Congresswoman, I'm sorry about the circumstances, but I appreciate this chance to talk with you. Welcome.
The latest tragedy in Atlanta has shed light on America's long history of bigotry against Asian-Americans, with many taking to the streets in solidarity, saying enough is enough. First, I did want to start by asking, what has the past week brought up for you?
We're seeing alarming figures of anti-Asian hate crimes, especially in the U.S., with reports showing such crimes rose by 145% in major U.S. cities last year from the year before. And many experts point out that hate crimes are overwhelmingly underreported. We want to first ask you, how serious is the anti-Asian sentiment in the U.S.?
Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders have come forward sharing sentiment of alienation as 'perpetual foreigners', never fully integrated since long before the pandemic began. Vice President Kamala Harris has also stated that "Racism is real in America, and it has always been." As the first U.S. Congress member of both Korean and African American heritage, how do you feel?
The Atlanta spa shootings were just the latest of surging anti-Asian hate crimes and in a lot of cases the suspects were not charged with hate crime due to lack of evidence that can prove they were racially motivated.
Tell us about the movements in Congress to boost 'hate crime laws' and what are some of the remaining challenges?
The fact that the 7 victims out of 8 Atlanta spa shootings were women acutely points out that this was also an act of violence against women. in your remarks on the floor, you drew a connection between the shootings in Atlanta and the importance of getting the Violence Against Women Act reauthorized. Tell us about the ongoing efforts to reauthorize the 'Violence Against Women Act' which I believe was lapsed in 2019?
President Biden signed an executive order on stopping anti-Asian bias, there are movements in the Congress, big name celebrities are speaking out, and angry young generations are flooding the social media about the dire issue.
So the message is out loud and clear, but what more do you think needs to be done to stamp out racial violence?
Before you go, your word of advice and encouragement?
Thank you Congresswoman Strickland, grateful for your perspectives.