CAPAC Members Observe AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate

May 18, 2020 Issues: Civil Rights

Washington, D.C. – Today, Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) observed the second annual Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Day Against Bullying and Hate. This date coincides with the birthday of Vincent Chin, whose brutal murder in 1982 sparked national outrage and led to the pan-ethnic AAPI movement that exists today. Today, in the midst of anti-Asian attacks related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the day is more pertinent than ever. CAPAC Members released the following statements:

CAPAC Leadership

Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-27), CAPAC Chair:

“Crises, whether economic or health related, make people afraid. And too often, bad actors have used that fear to stoke anger and violence against communities of color. We saw that with the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, Japanese American internment during World War II, and again in the 1980s, when anxiety about competition with Japan led two men to target and kill Vincent Chin, a Chinese American who they mistakenly believed was Japanese. Unfortunately, we are seeing this xenophobia again today as attempts to focus anger at China are leading to a spike in anti-Asian bigotry. In fact, there have been nearly 2,000 anti-Asian hate crimes and incidents reported in just the past few months alone. This is unacceptable. And that is why we must speak up. Today, on the second AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate, we renew our resolve to stand up to hate and bullying of all forms, including bigoted rhetoric coming from the White House. America is strengthened and enriched by our diversity, and we must ensure that all Americans feels safe and welcome in this country.”

Congresswoman Grace Meng (NY-06), CAPAC First Vice Chair:

“On this day, in observance of AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate, I stand together with my colleagues and communities across the nation to denounce xenophobia, discrimination, and racism, and make clear that this intolerance and bigotry is completely unacceptable. We designate May 18th as AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate because it is the birthday of Vincent Chin - who was brutally murdered in a horrific act of hate almost four decades ago. We must fight to ensure that such hate-filled violence and scapegoating are never repeated. I ask all Americans recommit to building a more inclusive, diverse, and tolerant society to fight against bullying and hate. Whenever we see or hear about injustices taking place, we have a responsibility to make our voices heard. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, we will rise above intolerance.”

Congressman Mark Takano (CA-41), CAPAC Second Vice Chair:

“This year, recognizing AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate is more important than ever. Given the rise in hate crimes against the AAPI community as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is up to each and every one of us to stand up and speak up for members of our community. The racism and xenophobia our community is facing stems from a place of hate and bigotry and we will not tolerate this injustice. On this day especially, let’s come together and promote kindness, compassion, and justice, and work to create a more welcoming country for all.”

Congressman Ted Lieu (CA-33), CAPAC Whip:

“On AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate, we honor the life of Vincent Chin, a Chinese-American who was brutally murdered by two men who blamed him for the loss of American manufacturing jobs. This day is especially relevant now as Asian Americans across the nation face heightened discrimination as a result of COVID-19. Vicious anti-Asian incidents have been reported in schools, grocery stores, on public transit and in many other public venues. This is simply unacceptable. In times like these, we must be united to solve the public health and economic crises. The virus does not discriminate based on skin color and neither should we. I’m proud to stand alongside my colleagues in Congress to speak out against racist, hateful rhetoric and raise awareness around the reality AAPIs are currently facing.”

CAPAC Executive Board Members

Senator Mazie K. Hirono (HI):

“As the inflammatory, xenophobic anti-Asian rhetoric during the coronavirus pandemic continues, we have seen an alarming rise in discrimination and hate crimes against Asian Americans. Stoking racial divisions will only impede our efforts to overcome the immense challenges that this virus poses to everyone in our country. We must directly combat this dangerous anti-Asian discrimination and create a future that protects all Americans and is equitable for everyone.”

Congressman Gil Cisneros (CA-39):

“I join my CAPAC colleagues in condemning bullying and hate against the AAPI community. Especially during this coronavirus crisis, they have faced an increased number of racist, xenophobic, and discriminatory incidents. Every person in our country deserves to live with dignity and respect. I stand with our AAPI community, not just on AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate but every day.”

Congressman Jimmy Gomez (CA-34):

“During Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, I join my colleagues in the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus in commemorating Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Day Against Bullying and Hate. The COVID-19 pandemic has fueled a staggering rise in bullying and discrimination against the AAPI community, including over 1500 reported cases of anti-Asian discrimination since this crisis began. Los Angeles and California’s 34th Congressional District are made special by the contributions of the AAPI community, and we have a responsibility to stand up, intervene and end bullying and hate towards the AAPI community across the nation.”

CAPAC Associate Board Members

Congresswoman Katherine Clark (MA-05):

“Our Asian American and Pacific Islander community is facing threats and violence because of ignorant and hateful comments that are coming from the very top of our government. The American people are looking for leadership, honest information, and compassion. We will be able to combat this virus if we let facts guide our response and if we work together as a country and a community. Division will only hold us back.” 

Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-01):

“The inaugural Asian American and Pacific Islander Day Against Bullying and Hate is a reminder that racism has no place in our country. Amidst the hateful rhetoric coming from the White House and Republican leadership in Congress, our Asian American and Pacific Islander brothers and sisters unjustly face a rise in hate crimes. We must stand as together to prevent the spread of this hateful behavior. The different perspectives and gifts of our communities contributes to the beautiful quilt our country represents to the world, we need to be sure all our communities feel safe here."

Congressman Steven Horsford (NV-04):

“Right now is a difficult time for families around the globe as we navigate COVID-19. Amidst this pandemic, our country is witnessing an alarming rate of harmful attacks, xenophobia, and racist remarks to members of our Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Today, on AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate, we must remember the life of Vincent Chin, a Chinese-American who was brutally murdered in a horrible hate crime incident, whose story reminds us of our duty as members of our community to speak out against instances of hate and injustice.

“I am proud to stand in solidarity with AAPIs to condemn all forms of Anti-Asian sentiment, racism, discrimination, and religious intolerance. Hate has no home here. As we fight to spread of coronavirus, we must all do our part to put an end to the spread of hate against AAPIs and all communities of color.”

Congresswoman Katie Porter (CA-45): 

“The coronavirus pandemic has caused an ugly rise in anti-Asian racism and xenophobia, including right here in Orange County. Fighting bigotry in our community starts with teaching our kids that hate has no place here. Our AAPI neighbors help make Orange County a vibrant place to live, and I’m proud to join my CAPAC colleagues in recognizing AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate. Together, we work toward a future where no one faces discrimination because of their heritage.”

Congresswoman Linda Sánchez (CA-38):

“There is no place for harassment, discrimination, or hate crimes in our society. No child deserves to be bullied in the classroom or online just as no adult deserves hostility in the workplace. Yet in the midst of a global pandemic, many of our elected officials continue to fan the flames of intolerance towards members of the AAPI community. We have the power to do more, to celebrate diversity instead of pitting neighbor against neighbor. On this AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate, let’s be united in our stand against any form of prejudice and recommit ourselves to empathy.”

Congressman Adam Smith (WA-09):

“Today, on the second annual Asian American and Pacific Islander Day Against Bullying and Hate, I remain committed to ending bullying and hate in the AAPI community. Misinformation has led to the stigmatization of the AAPI community based on fear and xenophobia – this is a danger to the wellbeing of our communities and to public health. We must be unified and vigilant to combat this epidemic and to uphold our resilient and diverse communities."

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The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and Members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.