CAPAC Observes AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate

May 17, 2019 Issues: Civil Rights, Education

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On May 18, 2019, elected officials and community based organizations across the country will observe the inaugural Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) Day Against Bullying and Hate. The 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. Members of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) released the following statements:

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

“On this inaugural AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate, I join my colleagues in the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus to denounce xenophobia and hate in our country. Nearly four decades ago, Vincent Chin was brutally murdered by two auto workers who mistakenly believed he was Japanese and blamed him for the loss of American manufacturing jobs. His death, and the subsequent denial of justice for his family, brought together a diverse coalition that forged the pan-ethnic AAPI movement we have today. Decades later, his story reminds us of the continued need to speak out against hate and injustice whenever they occur.

“Unfortunately, there has been an alarming rise in bullying, discrimination, and violence targeting the AAPI community over the past few years. For instance, half of Asian American students, two-thirds of Sikh American students, and half of Muslim American students report being bullied because of their identity. There has also been a surge in hate violence impacting the South Asian, Muslim, and Sikh communities that have led many to feel unsafe in their own schools, neighborhoods, and houses of worship. So as we commemorate the first AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate, let us recommit ourselves to denouncing hate and working together to build a more inclusive society.”  

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

“Today, we honor the memory of Vincent Chin--who was brutally murdered in a horrific hate crime in 1982--by designating this day as AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate. The scourge of bullying, discrimination, harassment, and hate crimes is extremely destructive and undermines the social fabric that ties this great nation together. Every day across our country, kids of all ages suffer from being bullied in schools, playgrounds, and online. In the Asian American and Pacific Islander community, bullying is often exacerbated by cultural, religious, and linguistic barriers that can keep these youth from seeking and receiving help. We must speak out whenever and wherever we see anti-immigrant rhetoric and xenophobic behavior taking place. I hope May 18th will become a rallying cry for our nation to stand-up to bullying, and that we recommit ourselves to doing all we can to combat this unacceptable behavior.”

Congressman Ed Case (HI-01):

“I fully join my colleagues in our Congressional Asian and Pacific American Caucus in our country’s fight against bullying, discrimination and hate crimes. These actions are despicable and unacceptable in any event. But in the Asian American and Pacific Islander community they are often compounded by language, ethnic, cultural and religious barriers requiring special attention. In Hawai‘i, public school students recently wrapped up a prevention and awareness campaign against bullying. The state Department of Education has stated that ‘student-led projects and campaigns have proven to be the most effective and powerful initiatives to reduce harassment and bullying in schools.’ The campaign’s theme borrows from the Native Hawaiian cultural practice of ‘E Ola Pono,’ which means ‘to live with respect for, and in harmony with, everyone and everything around you.’ This annual campaign challenges students to work together on activities or projects to promote the theme as ‘away to be.’ It is my hope that all of us in our country can live ‘E Ola Pono.’”

Congressman Ro Khanna (CA-17):

“No child should face ridicule for their heritage. Whether it’s how and what we speak, or what we wear and how we wear it, AAPI culture should always be seen as a source of pride. Today we remember the heartbreaking tragedy of Vincent Chin and I encourage all Americans to take a moment and reflect on how we can each foster a more tolerant culture for our children of all backgrounds.”

Congresswoman Katherine Clark (MA-05):

“Today, we commemorate the first AAPI Day Against Bullying and Hate. As a member of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), I am alarmed by the rising xenophobia and hate crimes across the country. Right now, half of all Asian American students report being bullied, and this hurts our students and communities. I remain committed to celebrating our diversity and working to make sure that all our community members feel safe and respected.”

Congressman Scott Peters (CA-52):

“1 in 10 Asian American and Pacific Islander students are subjected to bullying in the classroom. We must guarantee schools have effective anti-bullying policies that foster inclusive environments to keep kids safe and focused on their education. Today, we renew our call to end bullying and discrimination, and stand with San Diego’s Asian American and Pacific Islander communities against hate and violence.”

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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.