“We can’t be silent in the face of rising violence against Asian Americans,” President Biden had said after an assault on a woman in New York’s Times Square. And when mourners gathered at Atlanta’s Gold Spa to pray for victims of the mass shooting there, it was pretty obvious that a surge in racist attacks has been an early challenge for the Biden administration.
With remarkable promptitude, therefore, has the recurrent scourge been addressed on Tuesday by the US President. He has unveiled plans to address rising racism against Asian-Americans. The major facets of the new scheme are increased accessibility to hate-crime data, a refresher course for the police ~ after four years of inertia under Donald Trump ~ and $50 million in grants to support survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, chiefly those who face language barriers.
The Justice Department will also review how it can effectively crack down on violent acts against people of Asian descent in the United States, including prosecution of those who commit hate crimes. This surely is a robust response to the ugly truth in Atlanta. The racist offensive has diversified, so to speak, from the colour of the skin to the origins of the victim. The plan of action has been announced after eight Asian women fell to the assassin’s bullet in as many as three spas in Atlanta.
The steps announced by the federal government to combat racist violence came a day after a man was captured on surveillance video in New York stomping on a 65-year-old Filipino woman while making anti-Asian remarks. Mr. Biden also travelled to Atlanta this month to express grief for the victims of a mass shooting.
“We can’t be silent in the face of rising violence against Asian Americans,” the President wrote on Twitter on Tuesday, adding, “These attacks are wrong, un-American, and must stop.” The administration has been spurred to action. It said in a statement that it would expand a White House initiative on Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders that had previously worked to provide economic opportunities to the communities by mandating that the group also counter anti-Asian violence.
Mr Biden will also appoint a White House official to review policies across the government affecting Asians, Hawaiians and Pacific Islanders. As part of the President’s stimulus relief package, the Department of Health and Human Services also established grants for survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault who may struggle to get help because of language barriers.
“This program will expand services to domestic violence survivors from Asian-American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander communities,” the White House statement said. The wider canvas covers a segment that is often collectively referred to as “non-Americans”.
Many Democrats have suggested that President Trump bears some responsibility for the surge in anti-Asian attacks. Not the least because he stoked anti-Chinese sentiment throughout the pandemic last year, calling the coronavirus the “China virus.” Hideous is the narrative after a year.