- Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) signed a new bill on Tuesday that requires K-12 schools in New Jersey to teach Asian American and Pacific Islander history as part of their curricula.
- The recent move made New Jersey the second state to pass this type of bill after Illinois in July 2021.
New Jersey has become the second state that will require K-12 schools to teach Asian American and Pacific Islander history as part of their curricula starting in the 2022-2023 school year.
The bill, also known as the NJ AAPI Curriculum Bill (S4021/A6100), aims to create a “more tolerant and knowledgeable future for New Jersey,” Gov. Phil Murphy (D-N.J.) said after signing the legislation on Tuesday.
- A married same-sex couple became the first LGBTQ couple to legally adopt a child together in Taiwan this week.
- Taiwan’s law on same-sex marriage, passed in 2019, allowed one of the spouses to adopt the other’s biological child or a non-biologically related child as an unmarried individual, but the law did not permit same-sex couples to adopt a child together.
- The couple, who have been together for 16 years, prolonged their engagement and married after their paperwork to adopt their daughter was finalized before taking their case to court to have Chen equally recognized as a parent.
Wang Chen-wei and Chen Chun-ju are the first LGBTQ plus couple in Taiwan to legally adopt a non-biologically related child together.
LGBTQ plus activists have advocated to amend the 2019 law that legalized same-sex marriage to allow more freedoms for the marginalized community in the country, according to Taiwan News. Until late December, only one of the spouses in a same-sex marriage could adopt the other’s biological child, but the law prevented same-sex couples from adopting a child together who is not related to either of them biologically.
Senate bill seeks to sanction Chinese officials who block inquiries into COVID-19’s alleged Wuhan lab origins
- Introduced by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), the Coronavirus Origin Validation, Investigation and Determination (COVID) Act of 2022 would sanction Chinese officials if they fail to allow inquiry into the lab leak theory.
- The bill would specifically target the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), which administers the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV), the agency at the center of the theory.
- The bill would also suspend funding for studies involving the CAS and prohibit cooperation in virus research between the U.S. and China.
A bill that aims to sanction Chinese officials for preventing investigations into the alleged artificial origins of COVID-19 was introduced in the U.S. Senate on Tuesday.
The legislation, known as the Coronavirus Origin Validation, Investigation and Determination (COVID) Act of 2022, would authorize sanctions 90 days after its enactment if the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) “fails to allow for a credible and comprehensive international investigation into laboratories in Wuhan,” according to Rubio’s website.
- Shelley Luther, a Republican candidate running for Texas House, said Chinese students should be banned from the state’s universities.
- Luther made headlines in 2020 after refusing to shut down her salon in Dallas amid emergency orders.
- Rep. Gene Wu, a Democrat from Houston, slammed Luther’s remarks as “racist” and called for a public apology.
A Texas Republican candidate for the House of Representatives has ignited controversy after calling for a ban on Chinese students from universities in the state.
“Chinese students should be BANNED from attending all Texas universities,” Shelley Luther originally wrote in a since-revised tweet. “No more communists!”
Rosalyn Tang becomes first Asian American, youngest woman appointed to Maryland Court of Special Appeals
- Maryland governor Larry Hogan appointed Montgomery County attorney Rosalyn Tang to the Court of Special Appeals on Wednesday.
- Tang is the first Asian American and the youngest woman to serve on Maryland’s second-highest court.
- She is replacing Judge Steven B. Gould, who was appointed to the Court of Appeals in September.
Rosalyn Tang, 41, has been appointed as the first Asian American and the youngest woman to serve on Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals.
- Japanese American actor George Takei weighed in on a Rhode Island lawmaker’s tweet about critical race theory with his own experiences of Japanese internment.
- The lawmaker, State Rep. Patricia Morgan, tweeted that she “had a Black friend” who, because of critical race theory, became “hostile and unpleasant.”
- Takei adapted the format of Morgan’s tweet to mockingly reframe it, writing “I had a white friend… but then Pearl Harbor happened and whites became hostile and unpleasant.”
Japanese American actor and activist George Takei spoke out against a tweet by Rhode Island State Rep. Patricia Morgan, which criticized critical race theory.
The original tweet, posted by Morgan on Dec. 28, read “I had a Black friend. I liked her and I think she liked me. But now she is hostile and unpleasant. I am sure I didn’t do anything to her, except be white.” Morgan finished the tweet with #CRT, a reference to critical race theory.
‘I’m sorry if people felt offended’: Canadian premier draws outrage over ‘bat soup out of Wuhan’ comment
A Canadian premier has been accused of racism after referencing “bat soup” while talking about COVID-19 late last month.
Jason Kenney, who has served as Alberta’s premier since 2019, made the controversial remark during a year-end interview with Postmedia, in which he addressed the uncertainty of coronavirus variants.
- New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who was sworn in on Saturday, said President Joe Biden should apologize to the Chinese community for the surge in attacks amid the pandemic.
- While in office, former President Donald Trump routinely referred to COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus,” “Wuhan virus” and “kung flu.”
- The new mayor has recognized the Chinese community’s contributions during the pandemic and plans on sending a letter to Biden about the apology.
President Joe Biden should apologize to the Chinese community over the former administration’s COVID-19 rhetoric, New York City Mayor Eric Adams (D-N.Y.) said at a press briefing on Tuesday.
“The president right now should stand up and say, ‘On behalf of the American people, we apologize to the Chinese community,’” Adams said. “We had a president that called COVID the ‘Chinese disease.’ He used hatred terminology. This is a big moment for our country: that we would never allow the Oval Office to be used to attack people in our country.”
- Sokhary Chau, a 49-year-old Cambodian refugee and former city council member, was sworn in as mayor of Lowell, Massachusetts, on Monday.
- He now represents the city of more than 115,000 residents and its nearly 25% Asian population.
Sokhary Chau was sworn in as mayor of Lowell, Massachusetts, on Monday.
Chau, 49, is a Cambodian refugee and came to the U.S. at a young age to escape the Khmer Rouge. He became a Lowell city council member in 2019, and he was unanimously picked by the city council members to be mayor on Monday, according to the Associated Press (AP).
- Authorities found an AR-15-type rifle inside Kuachua Brillion Xiong’s vehicle after he was pulled over for “driving aggressively” in Iowa on Dec. 21.
- Investigators also uncovered several items inside his car, including a TikTok hit list containing 100 names, including President Joe Biden, former presidents Barack Obama and Bill Clinton, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Mark Zuckerberg.
- Xiong planned to enter through a White House security “weak spot” to fight “evil demons.”
- He was charged with one count of making threats against a former president of the United States.
A heavily-armed man who was allegedly on his way to the White House to kill figures of authority – such as President Joe Biden, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Barack Obama – has been arrested in Iowa.
Cass County Sheriff’s Department arrested Kuachua Brillion Xiong, 25, a recently fired grocery store employee from Merced, California, for “driving aggressively” on Interstate 80 in Cass County, Iowa, on Dec. 21, the Los Angeles Times reported.
NY governor Kathy Hochul says racism is a ‘public health crisis’ after signing 6 anti-hate legislations
- New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed six legislation to address racial discrimination and injustice in the state.
- The legislation will declare racism a public health crisis, enact the hate crimes analysis and review act, require the collection of certain demographic data, require a health equity assessment to accompany any project that will affect a hospital's health care services, require the New York State Office of Technology Services to advise all state agencies in the implementation of language translation technology and expand the list of diseases for which a newborn can be screened in order to include conditions more prevalent in newborns from the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Asia.
New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed six anti-hate legislation on Dec. 23 to address discrimination and racial injustice.
Six steps towards a more equitable New York
The city of Albuquerque in New Mexico has adopted two legislations that will benefit its Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community amid the surge in hate incidents brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
About the bills: Mayor Tim Keller signed the language access bill and the anti-AAPI hate bill in a virtual ceremony on Monday. The former aims to “make information and services more accessible to all city residents, regardless of their ability or English proficiency,” while the latter focuses on “condemning harmful rhetoric, racist acts and hate crimes targeting Asian-Pacific Americans” while also vowing to provide support to victims and the general AAPI community.