The U.S. Defense Secretary affirmed the country had “lapsed” when it came to the rise of anti-Asian hate while giving a lecture in Singapore.
Working towards a “more perfect union”: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke about the rise in anti-Asian attacks in the U.S. at the International Institute for Strategic Studies Fullerton Lecture on Tuesday.
- Austin revealed how hate targeted at the Asian American and Pacific Islander community was “un-American” and “unacceptable,” reported Military.com.
- Representatives of the United Nations shared their concerns about seeing “racially motivated violence” following the onset of COVID-19. UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated how horrific the violence was towards Asians around the world, reported UN News.
- “I believe that we’re better than that. Far better than that,” Austin said.
- Democracy isn’t always done right by the U.S., the defense chief said. However, he added because of democracy, mistakes made are not hidden but “broadcast in loud and living color.”
- America’s willingness to admit its flaws “gives us the built-in ability to self-correct, and to strive towards a more perfect union,” Austin said.
Hate by the numbers: Data showed that anti-Asian hate crimes were up 169% by the first quarter of 2021, NextShark previously reported.
- New York had the highest rates of anti-Asian hate crimes with 42 reported in that time frame.
- Other countries such as Canada have been seeing a rise in hate crimes, with Vancouver being called the “Anti-Asian Hate Crime Capital of North America,” according to a report cited by Bloomberg.
- A separate report shared by non-profit Stop AAPI Hate saw one in five Asian Americans who have experienced racism showed “psychological and emotional harm.”
Steps to end the hate: President Joe Biden appointed Krystal Ka’ai in late May to lead an initiative aimed at reducing anti-Asian hate crimes, bias and more, NextShark reported.
- Biden’s appointment of Ka’ai followed his signing of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act to speed up the investigation of COVID-19-related hate crimes.
- Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), the co-author of the law, also secured $30 million to directly benefit community-based organizations as part of the act.
- Earlier this month, the NYPD and FBI worked jointly to ensure potential anti-Asian hate crimes were being reported in a public service announcement.
- That same week, California issued a $156 million fund for victim-centered solutions in Asian-related hate crimes.