U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris in Wilmington, Delaware.
Leah Millis | Reuters
Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday responded to a the recent rise in violent attacks on Asian Americans.
“We must continue to advocate for the fight against racism and discrimination,” Harris said on Twitter.
Videos of recent attacks on elderly Asian Americans in the Gulf of California have spread on social media in the past week.
One video it showed a 91-year-old man being pushed off his back and landed face down on a street in Chinatown in Oakland, Harris ’hometown.
One more video portrayed 84-year-old Vichu Ratanapakdee forcibly pushed to the ground in San Francisco. He later died, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Harris ’comments come on a lunar New Year as the Covid pandemic and fears of violence stifle the holiday festivities.
Other politicians took note of the issue.
“Especially in the days leading up to the Lunar New Year, a time of cultural pride and celebration for millions of Asian Americans, the rise in attacks especially in Chinatowns has had a terrifying effect on our community,” Rep. Judy Chu, D- California, chairman of the Congressional Asian Pacific-American caucus, said ua statement Thursday.
Incidents of hatred and violence against Asian Americans increased during the Covid pandemic. Proponents say anti-Asian sentiments are fueled by the actions of leaders like former President Donald Trump, who constantly referred to the coronavirus in terms such as “Chinese virus” and “kung flu”.
“Across the country, more than 2,500 reports of incidents against Asian hatred related to COVID-19 were recorded between March and September 2020.” study Asian-American Bar Associations of New York and Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.
“And this number underestimates the actual number of hate incidents against Asia, because most cases are not reported,” the study states.
Asked at a White House briefing on Monday about President Joe Biden’s response to recent violent attacks on Asian Americans, Press Secretary Jen Psaki said the president condemned discrimination against Asian Americans.
“He was open and made it clear that attacks – verbal attacks, any attacks in any form – are unacceptable and we must work together to address them,” Psaki said.
Biden signed an enforcement order January 26, targeting xenophobia against Asian Americans.
“We appreciate President Biden ‘s executive order calling for greater protection for [Asian and Pacific Islander] community as a result of pandemic-related racism and xenophobia, and we thank those who are in solidarity with the API community, ”said the California Asia Pacific Island Legislative Committee in statement Thursday.
“But it is not enough to simply reject racism, xenophobia and violence. We must draw attention to these injustices and protect each other,” the parliamentary club said.