We have seen our share of hate rhetoric and crimes against our AAPI brothers and sisters here in Los Angeles and across the country. The recent Georgia shootings targeting Asian businesses are indicative of the growing anti-Asian violence that has mushroomed during the pandemic.
Stop AAPI Hate has chronicled 3,795 incidents of AAPI hate from March 2020 through February 2021 – verbal abuse, physical assault, civil rights violations, and online harassment. Women are the victims of hate incidents 2.3 times more than men.
We must be a constant and leading voice condemning the wave of hate speech and violence against AAPIs. We must not marginalize Asians and Asian Americans because they are “statistically insignificant.”
As Jonathan Greenblatt, CEO of the Anti-Defamation League has said: “We are all in this together. An attack against them [AAPIs] is an attack against me [a Jewish American]”.
I support the seven calls to action proposed by the Committee of 100, a nonprofit leadership organization of prominent Chinese Americans.
These initiatives ask us to hold our public officials, institutions, and leaders accountable to combat the growing xenophobia against our AAPI neighbors.
This racism can only be stopped by public officials condemning it at every turn, encouraging our citizens to love and respect each other, and adopting a zero-tolerance stance towards acts of bigotry. We must be vigilant in classifying crimes against AAPIs as hate crimes for enhanced sentencing in the criminal justice system.
A fundamental strength of Los Angeles is its diverse culture and ethnicities. We need City leadership to aggressively and publicly push back against the hate that is springing up here and across our nation.
We must use our words and actions to affirmatively condemn and prosecute racism, which is rearing its ugly head against all of us through our AAPI community. As your City Attorney, I will be a leader against all racism and xenophobia and will support prosecuting hate crimes.