WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) joined U.S. Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) and 34 of their Senate colleagues in introducing a resolution to condemn all forms of anti-Asian sentiment, racism, and discrimination, and call on federal officials, in collaboration with state and local agencies and Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community organizations, to address the rise in COVID-19-related hate crimes. The resolution was introduced in the wake of the Atlanta shooting—where eight people were killed, including six women of Asian descent, and following a new report that AAPIs were targeted in nearly 3,800 hate incidents across the country since last March.

“Over the past year, violence against Asian American communities has risen dramatically, culminating in last week’s horrific shooting in Atlanta that took the lives of six Asian women. We cannot stand by while these forces of bigotry and ignorance continue to plague our nation,” said Senator Coons. “I’m proud to join Senators Hirono and Duckworth in introducing this resolution to strongly condemn anti-Asian racism and intolerance, and I’m committed to working with my colleagues to hold the perpetrators of these crimes accountable.”

“Our country’s AAPI community has experienced escalating verbal attacks and physical violence since the coronavirus pandemic began, including the devastating killings last week in Atlanta. We must reject all forms of xenophobia and address the harm to our AAPI communities. Passing this resolution would send a clear message that hate, bigotry, and anti-Asian sentiment have no place in our country,” Senator Hirono said.

“After a year of hateful, offensive rhetoric being used in an attempt to racialize the COVID-19 pandemic against Asian Americans, we’ve seen a spike in hate crimes, violent assaults and discrimination targeting the AAPI community,” said Senator Duckworth. “As the AAPI community continues to be attacked, I’m proud to introduce this important resolution with Senator Hirono to condemn all forms of anti-Asian sentiment, including those made worse by the COVID-19 outbreak.”

A similar resolution was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) last month and now has 145 cosponsors.

In addition to Senators Hirono and Duckworth, the resolution is cosponsored by Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Alex Padilla (D-Calif.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), and Ron Wyden (D-Ore.).

The resolution:

  • Condemns all forms of anti-Asian sentiment, including racism, xenophobia, discrimination, and scapegoating, related to COVID–19;
  • Recognizes that the health and safety of all people of the United States, regardless of background, must be the utmost priority;
  • Calls on federal law enforcement officials, working with state and local agencies to:
  1. expeditiously investigate and document all credible reports of hate crimes, harassment, bullying, and threats against AAPI communities;
  2. expand data collection and reporting to document the rise in incidences of hate crimes relating to COVID–19; and
  3. hold the perpetrators of those crimes, incidents, or threats accountable and bring such perpetrators to justice;
  • Calls on the Attorney General to work with state and local agencies and AAPI community-based organizations to prevent discrimination, and expand culturally appropriate education campaigns on public reporting of hate crimes;
  • Calls on the Secretary of Health and Human Services, in coordination with the COVID–19 Health Equity Task Force and AAPI community-based organizations, to issue guidance to mitigate racially discriminatory language in describing the COVID–19 pandemic; and
  • Recommits the United States to serve as a model in building a more inclusive, diverse, and tolerant society.

The full text of the resolution is available here.

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