For the past year, faced with a spike in violence against Asian Americans, lawmakers and activists from around the country have pushed for stronger anti-hate crime legislation, with mixed results. Now, in the aftermath of the deadly Atlanta shooting that killed eight people, demands for immediate change are growing louder.
Democratic lawmakers have proposed policy fixes to address the rise in hate crimes in the wake of the pandemic. Last Thursday Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) announced plans to reintroduce legislationbolstering law enforcement’s response to hate crimes against Asian Americans. The bill would appoint a Justice Department official to expedite reviews of hate crimes and provide guidance to local law enforcement on accurately reporting Covid-19-related hate crimes.
“It’s gone from a racial slur to provocation to a point where you have multiple Asian American women being killed,” said Madalene Mielke, president and CEO of the Asian Pacific American Institute for Congressional Studies.
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