During his first prime-time address to the nation, President Joe Biden denounced violent attacks against Asian Americans during the coronavirus pandemic as un-American and called for the attacks to end immediately.
Speaking of how the pandemic had helped divide and fight Americans on a number of issues, Biden called for “vicious hate crimes against Asian Americans who have been attacked, molested, accused and scapegoated”.
“Right now, so many of you, our fellow Americans, are on the front lines of this pandemic trying to save lives,” Biden said of Asian Americans who worked in frontline jobs during the pandemic. “And yet they are forced to live in fear for their lives if they just walk the streets of America. It’s wrong, it’s un-American and it has to stop,” Biden said in his condemnation of the attacks.
Anti-Asian attacks in the Bay Area:This group of 700 volunteers is taking action
Asian Americans in the media:Margaret Cho Talks About Asian-American “Visibility” On TV, Movies: It’s Not All “Bling Empire”
The President’s Comments, in sharp contrast to the inflammatory and often xenophobic statements of his predecessor, come after weeks of outcry from the Asian-American community.
Incidents of Incidents of hatred against Asian Americans have increased significantly during the pandemic. Recent attacks, including multiple violent attacks on elderly Asian Americans, have sparked outrage and activism in the Asian-American community urged lawmakers and organizers to respond to the threat.
“Racial violence and other incidents against Asian Americans have reached alarming levels since the COVID-19 outbreak in the United States,” a United Nations report released last year found, citing sharp increases in vandalism, physical assault and robbery against Asian Americans, corporations and community centers.
During his first week in office, Biden issued a memorandum Condemn racially motivated violence and harassment against Asian Americans, instruct federal agencies to develop methods to investigate and counteract such racially targeted attacks.
In February, Vice President Kamala Harris, the first Asian-American vice president, spoke on the matter, saying the government is taking steps to combat the rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans.
“Despite this growing intolerance, Asian Americans and Pacific islanders made our nation safer during the COVID-19 pandemic and throughout our history,” a January White House statement said. “The federal government should combat racism, xenophobia and intolerance towards Asian Americans and islanders in the Pacific and work to ensure that all members of the AAPI communities – regardless of their background, language or religious beliefs – are treated with dignity and dignity. “