President Joe Biden recently met several hate crime survivors – including Vilma Kari, the 66-year-old victim of a violent incident in New York City – during the United We Stand Summit at the White House on Thursday.
The recent summit was hosted to “counter the corrosive effects of hate-fueled violence on our democracy and public safety” and honor “the resilience of communities who are healing from hateful attacks, including mass shootings, from Oak Creek to Orlando, Charleston, Pittsburgh, El Paso, Atlanta, Buffalo, and beyond,” the White House said.
In addition to meeting the survivors, Biden also met the relatives of mass shooting victims.
Kari was one of the hate crime victims invited to the event. The 66-year-old was walking in Midtown Manhattan on March 29, 2021, when a man, later identified as 38-year-old Brandon Elliot, suddenly attacked her in front of an apartment building. In addition to injuries to her body and head, the Filipino American victim suffered a fractured pelvis after being punched and kicked by Elliot, who was eventually arrested and charged with two counts of assault as a hate crime and attempted assault as a hate crime, among other charges.
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Kari’s daughter, Elizabeth, founded AAP(I belong) following the violent incident involving her mother. The nonprofit organization was established as a “place to share stories and words of encouragement from those who have encountered anti-Asian hatred.”
“As President Biden and his administration are calling for an end to hate fueled violence in our country, they had asked my mom to join a panel to share her story as a survivor and her thoughts of how we can overcome hate,” Elizabeth wrote in AAP(I belong)’s recent Instagram post.
“We were able to underline the importance of our AAP(I belong) nonprofit and its initiative of showcasing anonymous stories of encounters with anti-Asian hate and creating a sense of community around these somber shared experiences, highlighting the importance of this issue,” she added.
People can share their experiences or stories on the nonprofit’s website and can also submit their entries anonymously.
“All those stories [on racism, anti-Asian attacks], we sort of compiled them. Last year, we did a pop-up, an exhibition at the Museum of Chinese in America in New York and we exposed those stories, what’s happening to our community,” Elizabeth said.
During the summit, Biden condemned white supremacy and declared that “all forms of hate fueled by violence have no place in America.”
“As to those who say, we bring this up, we just divide the country — bring it up, we silence it, instead of remaining silenced. For in silence, wounds deepen,” Biden said. “I’m calling on Congress to get rid of special immunity for social media companies and impose much stronger transparency requirements on all of them.”