Former Vice President Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, issued the following statement on May 4.
May is Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, a time to celebrate and reflect on the boundless contributions of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders to our national life.
From the earliest days of our history, the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community has been a central part of our shared American story. Across the generations, AAPIs have strengthened our communities, built our cities, sparked progress, brought life to our fields and farmlands, and served courageously in our armed forces.
This year, however, we mark Asian Pacific American Heritage Month at a fraught time for AAPI communities, our nation, and the world. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has brought with it a rash of racist messages, verbal and physical attacks, and other incidents of hate directed against AAPIs. Such assaults strike at the heart of our country — all the more so at a time when so many AAPIs are leading on the front lines of this crisis as nurses and doctors, researchers and scientists, delivery drivers and retail workers, and in so many other essential roles.
With a White House devoid of moral authority, and a president who chooses time and again to fan the flames of hate, it is more critical than ever that all Americans stand together strongly against racism and xenophobia. It is the responsibility of each and every one of us to reject hateful rhetoric — whatever its source — and speak up for the common humanity, and equal place in the American fabric, of our AAPI neighbors and friends.
Our diversity is and always has been the defining strength of our nation; in each generation, our spirit and our ambitions have been renewed by wave after wave of immigrants seeking out the American Dream. I was proud to serve as vice president in the most diverse administration in United States history, working with President Obama to expand opportunity through the reestablished White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; secure health insurance for two million AAPIs through the Affordable Care Act; protect thousands of AAPI DREAMers growing up in America; provide long overdue compensation to Filipino veterans of World War II; and appoint more AAPI judges to the bench than all prior administrations combined.
I look forward to furthering that progress as president — and to ensuring that our White House and federal government once again reflect the full diversity of the AAPI community and our country as a whole.
Until then, Jill and I extend our best wishes to AAPI communities across America, and look forward to celebrating your extraordinary accomplishments and contributions in the month ahead.