VP Harris is responding to the rise in violent assaults towards Asian Individuals
US Vice President Kamala Harris in Wilmington, Delaware.
Leah Millis | Reuters
Vice President Kamala Harris responded on Friday to the recent spike in violent attacks against Asian Americans.
“We must continue to fight against racism and discrimination,” said Harris on Twitter.
Videos of recent attacks on elderly Asian Americans in California’s Bay Area have spread on social media over the past week.
One video showed a 91-year-old man being pushed from behind and ending up face down on the street in the Chinatown neighborhood of Oakland, Harris’ hometown.
Another video showed 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee who was forcibly knocked to the ground in San Francisco. He later died, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Harris’ comments come on the New Year celebrations as the Covid pandemic and fear of violence dampened the Christmas festivities.
Other politicians have taken note of the problem.
“Especially in the days leading up to the New Year, a time of cultural pride and celebration for millions of Asian Americans, the rise in attacks in Chinatowns particularly shook our community,” said Asia-Pacific-US Congress Caucus Chairman Judy Chu, D-Calif. Said in a statement Thursday.
Hate and violence against Asian Americans have increased during the Covid pandemic. Proponents say anti-Asian sentiments were fueled by the action of leaders like former President Donald Trump, who kept referring to coronavirus and Covid-19 in terms like “Chinese virus” and “kung flu”.
“Across the country, there were more than 2,500 reports of anti-Asian hate incidents related to COVID-19 between March and September 2020,” according to a recent study by the Asian American Bar Association of New York and Paul Weiss.
“And that number underestimates the real number of hate incidents against Asia, as most of the incidents go unreported,” the study said.
When asked at a press conference at the White House on Monday about President Joe Biden’s response to recent violent attacks against Asian Americans, press secretary Jen Psaki said the president condemned discrimination against Asian Americans.
“He has spoken out and made it clear that attacks – verbal attacks, attacks of any kind – are unacceptable and we must work together to address them,” said Psaki.
Biden signed an executive order against xenophobia against Asian Americans on January 26th.
“We applaud President Biden’s executive order, which calls for greater protection for the government [Asian and Pacific Islander] Community as a result of racism and xenophobia related to the pandemic, and we thank those who show solidarity with the API community, “the Legislative Caucus of California Islanders in the Asia-Pacific region said in a statement Thursday.
“But it is not enough to simply reject racism, xenophobia and violence. We have to draw attention to these injustices and protect one another,” said the caucus.