Call on President Biden for Emergency Safety and Relief for Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities
Call on President Biden for Emergency Safety and Relief for Asian American and Pacific Islander Communities

March 19, 2021

The Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (“AANHPI”) community needs safety immediately. And we need help to recover – not just from the economic damage and loss of life and health wrought by the COVID pandemic – but also from the racialized scapegoating and hate wrought by a former Presidential Administration who openly blamed the pandemic on Asians. President Trump extended the wounds of the AANHPI community and invited hate-filled white supremacists to pour salt on them. It is open season on Asian American women and girls, transgender and gender non-conforming, undocumented and immigrant communities. Our Asian elders are not safe walking on the streets for fear of getting sliced, punched, shoved, kicked and spit on. Our children endure bullying and are all but invisible in what they learn about in school. Our businesses are shuttered, our homes graffitied. And Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities are suffering some of the worst impacts of the COVID pandemic.

We can’t wait any longer. We call on President Biden and Vice President Harris to take immediate action to stem the crisis in anti-Asian violence right now and to commit to extended partnership with the AAPI community for long term safety, recovery and resilience.

The Presidential Memo from January 26th was an important step but did nothing to prevent eight people from dying on Tuesday, March 16th or from Xiao Zhen Xie, the 76 year old grandma in San Francisco from getting punched in the face. Our communities are confused, angry, sad and terrified. Many are frightened to attend vigils in person - despite their need to mourn, grieve, and come together as a community. "What if they just shoot me?" is the trauma response right now. We are all struggling to protect our own families.

Therefore, we ask the Biden-Harris Administration to immediately commit $100 million towards addressing anti-Asian hate through community-based solutions that center the experiences and demands of Asian American and Pacific Islander organizations that work directly with, advocate for, and organize community members who are most vulnerable to being targeted by hate, bias and violence right now and an additional $200 million towards longer-term community safety, recovery and resilience in the upcoming Federal budget.

We need this federal resource commitment to be targeted towards:

Providing funds for holistic wrap-around victim assistance services including in-language hate reporting, mental health, comprehensive support, system navigation and advocacy for victims and survivors

Creating alternatives to law enforcement including violence prevention, crisis intervention and transformative justice programs that are culturally and linguistically accessible and that focus on vulnerable members of our communities including but not limited to working class people, undocumented and immigrant communities, women, LGBTQ communities, people of faith

Creating a federal interagency task force staffed at the White House that coordinates efforts of the federal government, and meets regularly with local and national AANHPI organizations and advocates, coordinates governmental response, that protects the civil rights of AANHPI communities, provides arts and cultural programming, and supports development and dissemination of in-language public outreach materials and resources

Supporting community-based organizations that are on the frontlines of crisis response and recovery to build community infrastructure over the long term

Supporting programming that encourages cross-racial dialogues and community building
Providing relief for AANHPI essential workers and low-wage workers who are confronting the twin pandemics of COVID-19 and systemic racism, including support and benefits for undocumented and immigrant AANHPI community members

Resources should be disaggregated to ensure that they are appropriately directed to Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities and organizations on the ground

Including the voices of Pacific Islanders by meeting specifically with Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander communities and adding NHPI representation on the COVID Equity Taskforce.

We also look forward to continued engagement with the White House on the full range of policy demands focused on addressing safety, recovery and resilience for AANHPI communities. Anti-Asian hate and all forms of racism are a part of the American experience, past and present. But it doesn’t need to be part of our future. What we do now matters for our families and communities -- today and in the long run.

Signed,
9 to 5
Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Atlanta
Asian Americans Advancing Justice - Asian Law Caucus
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
National Council of Asian Pacific Americans




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