FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 22nd, 2021
Washington, DC—The National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA) issued the following statement regarding the passage of Senator Hirono’s S.937 COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. This afternoon, the bill passed in the Senate with a 94-1 vote. Hirono’s bill improves methods of data collection, review, and response to COVID-19 related hate crimes. This bill comes on the heels of recent tragedies that have harmed Asian American communities, including a mass shooting at a Indianapolis FedEx facility last week that took the lives of eight people, four of whom were Sikh, and the Atlanta shootings last month.
With the recent mass shootings in Indianapolis and Atlanta, our communities are reeling. Our hearts go out to the families who have lost loved ones to senseless and avoidable violence. While passage of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act and the Jabara-Heyer NO HATE Act are important steps towards making long-overdue improvements to the government’s response to hate crimes, it takes place during an incredibly difficult time for the country.
Protection is paramount. However, we recognize that as Asian American communities are calling for action to stop hate and violence, these calls are happening against a backdrop of police violence against communities of color—especially Black and Brown communities.
We have been humbled by the solidarity and support many have shown in response to anti-Asian hate. But it is difficult to celebrate a system that is willing to respond to violence against Asian Americans, while continuing to perpetuate violence against other communities, including those within our own.
The indiscriminate killing of people of color at the hands of police must stop. Then we need a deeper commitment to invest in our communities, outside of law enforcement based solutions, so that we can address the sources of violence, not just the aftermath.
Based in Washington, D.C., the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans is a coalition of 37 national Asian Pacific American organizations that serves to represent the interests of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and to provide a national voice for our communities’ concerns. Our communities are the fastest growing racial/ethnic group in the United States, currently making up approximately six percent of the population.