Since the beginning of the pandemic, approximately 3,800 anti-Asian hate crimes have been reported across the U.S.
In Focus: SoCal host Tanya McRae takes a closer look at this alarming issue, which the White House is addressing with action steps. The Biden administration is creating a COVID-19 Equity Task Force to end coronavirus-fueled xenophobia against Asian Americans and establishing a cross-agency Justice Department initiative to investigate the violence.
Rep. Ted Lieu, who represents California's 33rd congressional district, authored legislation to address hate crimes, including the COVID-19 Hates Crimes Act and the Hate Crimes Commission Act.
"We have to really tackle hate crimes, and we should not, in fact, have any crimes that are motivated by hate, and if they are, then we should prosecute those folks to the fullest extent of the law," Lieu said.
Stop AAPI Hate co-founder Manjusha Kulkarni joins the conversation and talks about her organization's resources. At the beginning of the pandemic, the group was formed to collect data on anti-Asian hate incidents and make it easier for the AAPI community to report them.
"There are some specific challenges," Kulkarni said. "Language barriers and trust are two of the big ones. Not all law enforcement offices have individuals who can speak Asian American languages. And also we know that, you know, trust has been eroded with our communities in similar ways that it has been with Latinx and African American communities as well."
Many Asian American politicians and community leaders have been vocal about the surge in anti-Asian hate and discrimination by organizing and attending rallies across the country.
Faith Bautista, president and CEO of the National Asian American Coalition, noted that it's a good sign that the White House is getting involved in addressing the issue but that the policies need to be executed.
"It's the implementation. That's what matters. Talk is good, but action [is] where it matters the most. So if there [are] some policy changes, and there will be accountability, then yes, things will change," Bautista said.
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