anti-asian hate
(Wachiwit/Shutterstock)

Initiative to Address Anti-Asian Violence Announced by White House as Hate Crimes Continue to Spread in Cities Like New York

On March 30, President Biden announced a new federal initiative aimed at curbing and helping to address the rampant spread of anti-Asian violence across the United States in recent months.

Lauren Egan of NBC News reported that President Biden will “reinstate and expand the scope of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders” issued earlier this year. Biden also directed the Department of Health and Human Services to provide $49.5 million to programs helping AAPI survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault and said that the National Science Foundation will spend $33 million to study bias and xenophobia.

“The Justice Department will also establish a cross-agency initiative to respond to anti-Asian violence that will include an online tool to better study and share data about national hate crimes statistics, as well as new training for state and local law enforcement agencies to promote accurate reporting of hate crimes,” Egan reported.

During his March 11 speech, Biden said that Asian Americans have been “harassed, blamed and scapegoated” and that the violence was “wrong, it’s un-American, and it must stop.”

In a statement following Biden’s announcement, Stop AAPI Hate, a national coalition addressing anti-Asian racism across the U.S., who have been tracking the rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans since the start of the pandemic, endorsed the president’s new efforts. 

“We commend the administration for reinstating the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and the appointment of a permanent director who will coordinate policies across the government,” Stop AAPI Hate said. “We also commend the establishment of a COVID-19 Equity Task Force, which seeks to bring a racial equity lens to addressing xenophobia and acknowledges the significant mental health concerns facing our community as a result of the rising hate. We further support the Department of Justice’s initiative to coordinate and expand civil rights protections for our community. Finally, given the devastating intersection between misogyny and anti-Asian hate, we also commend the Biden administration for providing funding for AAPI survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault.”

Biden’s announcement comes even as news of continuing attacks against Asian Americans are reported on a daily basis. 

On the same day of the new White House directive, NBC’s Wilson Wong reported on the story of Vilma Kari, a 65-year-old woman from the Philippines who was walking down the street in midtown Manhattan when an assailant approached, knocked her to the ground and repeatedly kicked her. The incident took place outside a luxury New York City apartment building and the surveillance video of the incident shows several male staff members of the building watching the attack but not coming to the woman’s aid.

According to Wong, “The New York Police Department’s Hate Crimes Task Force is investigating the assault, and the staff members who witnessed it have been suspended.”

In a statement, the police said “the victim sustained a serious physical injury and was removed by EMS to NYU Langone Hospital,” but is now in “stable condition.”

The 38-year-old suspect identified as Brandon Elliot was arrested on March 31. According to the Associated Press’ Michael Sisak, Elliot lived at a nearby hotel that served as a homeless shelter and “was convicted of stabbing his mother to death in the Bronx in 2002, when he was 19. He was released from prison in 2019 and is on lifetime parole.”

On the same day, another video surfaced of an Asian man being repeatedly punched and then choked to unconsciousness on a crowded subway train in Brooklyn. Bystanders watched and recorded the incident on their phones yet didn’t come to the man’s aid.

These incidents add to the ongoing number of hate crimes and incidents regularly impacting Asian Americans. According to Stop AAPI Hate estimates, there have been at least 3,800 attacks on Asians reported in the U.S. in the last year alone — a number that has increased dramatically as a result of the pandemic.

 

Related: For more recent diversity and inclusion news, click here.

 

Latest News

woke politics

Republicans Launch a War on ‘Woke’ Politics in Hopes of Big Legislative Wins in 2022

In 2020, former President Barack Obama warned that the phrase “Defund the Police” could become a dangerous rallying cry for the conservative right. But now, Republicans have apparently taken that warning one step further, declaring war on all things “woke.” Allan Smith and Sahil Kapur of NBC News wrote that…

women in politics

Women Remain Vastly Underrepresented in Local Government, Despite Conventional Wisdom Suggesting Otherwise

Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sat behind President Biden during his first speech to a joint session of Congress on April 28 — representing the first time two women held such important and high-ranking political offices. Even after such a historic moment, the reality…

voter restriction

Florida Follows Georgia’s Lead, Approves Racist Anti-Voter Restrictions Aimed Primarily at Democrats and People of Color

Not content with letting Georgia be the only state in the South demonized for its bigoted and racist attacks on voter rights, Florida has jumped into the fray in issuing its own series of new and highly controversial “Jim Crow-esque” anti-voting restrictions aimed specifically at disenfranchising Democrats and voters of…

Kentucky Derby

Inspired by Protests Over Breonna Taylor’s Death, Humana and Kentucky Derby Festival Launch Diversity and Inclusion Initiative in Louisville

Ahead of the 147th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 1, Kentucky Derby officials and Humana (No. 25 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020) have announced a new equity initiative meant to make the race more accessible and welcoming to everyone, regardless of race, gender, age…

crimes against human ity

‘Crime Against Humanity’; Global Report Says the US Should Be Prosecuted in International Criminal Court for Ongoing Police Murders of Black Americans

In what has been described as a “devastating” report, human rights experts and lawyers have investigated and released a 188-page analysis of the ongoing police brutality and killing of Black Americans in the U.S. Their verdict: the country is guilty of “crimes against humanity” and should be prosecuted for its…

Tokyo, Olympics

Tokyo Olympics to Encourage Significant Increase in Gender Equality Among Event’s Corporate Sponsors

Besides simply being a showcase for some of the most talented and athletic men and women on the planet, the organizers of the Tokyo Olympics are hoping their event this summer can also help promote significant change in corporate culture, both in Japan and around the globe. Bloomberg’s Ayai Tomisawa…