A congressional committee is holding a hearing on discrimination and violence against Asian Americans following a wave of assaults that have coincided with the pandemic.
Watch the hearing in the video player above.
This is the first Congressional hearing on anti-Asian hate that’s been held since 1987.
Asian Americans were already worn down by a year of pandemic-fueled racist attacks when a white gunman was charged with killing eight people, most of them women of Asian descent, at three Atlanta-area massage parlors.
The chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Democratic Rep. Judy Chu said Thursday, “the Asian American community has reached a crisis point that cannot be ignored.”
Republican Rep. Chip Roy raised concerns over the hearing saying that it would limit his free speech to speak out against China.
New York Democrat Rep. Grace Meng addressed Roy during her opening remarks as a witness for the hearing saying, “Your president and your party and your colleagues can talk about issues with any other country you want, but you don’t have to do it by putting a bull’s eye on the back of Asian Americans across this country.”
Hundreds of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders turned to social media to air their anger, sadness, fear and hopelessness following the shootings in Georgia.
Many were outraged that the suspect was not immediately charged with hate crimes. Authorities say 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long told police the attack was not racially motivated. He claimed that he targeted the spas because of what he termed a “sex addiction.”
The group Stop AAPI Hate has recorded 3,795 hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020, with women victimized at more than twice the rate of men.