AALDEF sends letter to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights on the federal response to anti-Asian racism
WASHINGTON, DC — Yesterday, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) sent a letter to the United States Commission on Civil Rights for its consideration in its public hearing on the federal government’s response to anti-Asian racism in all its forms. Here is an excerpt from the letter, penned by Margaret Fung, AALDEF executive director, and Jane Shim, director of AALDEF’s Stop Asian Hate Project:
Since its founding nearly fifty years ago, the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) has combined litigation, advocacy, education, and organizing to secure human rights for all. Throughout our history, we have supported Asian American communities facing racial violence, from fighting extremist hate groups, organizing against police brutality, responding to vigilante violence, and defending individuals subject to state-sanctioned discrimination and surveillance. In the past three years, we have also increased our services to Asian Americans facing racial violence and harassment.
We thank the Commission for bringing attention to anti-Asian racism. The pandemic has brought unprecedented challenges, grief, and losses for everyone. For Asian Americans, the pandemic also brought a painful reminder that our sense of belonging is provisional, adding another chapter to a history of being racialized as a foreign peril and threat. In response to the surge of violence we are experiencing, many in our communities have mobilized to help keep each other safe from harm. The federal government has also made efforts to address anti-Asian racism, including increased enforcement and investigation of hate crimes, which is the present issue before the Commission. AALDEF submits this letter to highlight limitations of the hate crimes approach and propose additional federal government action for addressing racial violence and anti-Asian sentiment.
Read the letter in its entirety here.