Vietnamese-American lawmakers have simultaneously condemned the attack against Asians in Atlanta and called on the US government to take strong measures to tackle the Asian-American stigma that has existed for many years.
“We need to hold all Americans accountable for crimes motivated by hatred,” said Massachusetts House Representative Tram Nguyen. According to her, hate-motivated cases involving Asians have received less media attention over the years, and there is a limit to creating emotions that hold the perpetrators accountable.
“That is why I am filing a hate crime bill with Attorney General Healey and Sen. Hinds to provide attorneys, law enforcement, and judicial body members with more tools to apply the law fairly and accurately to hold offenders accountable,” said Ms. Tram Nguyen on her Facebook page.
In Atlanta, where the shootings took place that killed 8 people, including 6 people of Asian descent on March 16, Vietnamese-born Representative Bee Nguyen condemned the attack. “Asians are often taught to avoid attention because our parents believe doing so will keep us safer,” she said. “However, trying to be ‘invisible’ without a voice didn’t help and this tragedy happened today.”
Ms. Bee Nguyen urged the Atlanta State Congress to act to support and ensure more safety for Asians and other ethnic groups amid growing fear in these communities.
Meanwhile, California Rep. Janet Nguyen, said her family and all Asian American families or any other “do not deserve to live in fear.”
“No one deserves to live in fear. We have a responsibility to protect individuals from hate crimes,” said Janet Nguyen, adding that she favors a $ 1.4 million allocation in support of the Stop Asian American Pacific Islander Hate website and to analyze and root out the hostilities that are happening to Asian Americans.
Attacks against Asian Americans have spiked in the state over the past year, with 1,691 recorded attacks, the California State Representative said.
American media said the March 16 attack on spa salons in Atlanta shook and created fear in Asian communities across the United States, amid more than a year in the past. They have been targeted by attacks and stigma after China has been blamed for the cause of the Covid-19 pandemic.
A Pew Research Center survey last summer found that about 3 out of 10 Asian Americans nationwide (31%) said they were racially sarcastic or had experienced discriminatory race jokes since the beginning of the pandemic.
A report this week by the “Stop Asian American Pacific Islander Hate” of San Francisco State University also found nearly 3,800 attacks targeting Asians occurred since March 2020. Most of them were verbal or psychological harassment, but about 11% of attacks were physical assault.