WASHINGTON — On March 18 at 10 a.m. ET, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties will hold a hearing on the discrimination and violence Asian Americans have faced both historically and since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“There has been a long history of anti-Asian racism in the United States, especially during times of social or economic unrest. Unfortunately, since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, this bigotry has reared its ugly head once again,” said House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y). “As President Biden said, the rise in violence against our fellow Asian Americans is wrong, un-American, and it must stop. The committee will examine this issue and explore ways to prevent racially motivated discrimination and violence. I look forward to seeing this work lead to meaningful change.”
Rep. Doris Matsui (D-Sacramento)
Rep. Judy Chu (D-Pasadena)
Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.)
Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.)
John C. Yang, Esq., president and executive director, Asian American Advancing Justice–AAJC
Manjusha P. Kulkarni, Esq., executive director, Stop AAPI Hate, Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council
Erika Lee, Ph.D., regents professor of history and Asian American studies, director, Immigration History Research Center, University of Minnesota
Charles Lehman, fellow, Manhattan Institute, and contributing editor, City Journal
Wencong Fa, Esq., attorney, Pacific Legal Foundation
Daniel Dae Kim, actor and producer
Shirin Sinnar, Esq., professor of law and John A. Wilson faculty scholar, Stanford Law School
Hiroshi Motomura, Esq., Susan Westerberg Prager distinguished professor of law, faculty co-director, Center for Immigration Law and Policy, UCLA School of Law
The hearing can be viewed on C-SPAN and will stream live here
Background: Xenophobia and anti-Asian racism has been prevalent in the U.S. since the 19th century, leading to discriminatory policies including the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act and Executive Order 9066, which ordered the forced internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II.
In the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, South Asian, Muslim, and Middle Eastern Americans increasingly became the targets of violence and discrimination, and in the week following the terrorist attack, media outlets reported 645 bias incidents targeting people perceived to be Muslim or of Middle Eastern descents.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a notable surge in harassment and violence against the Asian American community. In part sparked by xenophobic rhetoric framing fault for the coronavirus around its country of origin, Asian Americans, notably those of Chinese descent or assumed to be of Chinese descent, have suffered increased rates of violence, harassment, and intimidation over the last year.