WASHINGTON, D.C. – On this National Day of Action and Healing to Stop Asian Hate, Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) hosted a virtual discussion with Governor Larry Hogan, First Lady Yumi Hogan, and District 20 Delegate David Moon. Click here to watch the virtual discussion, which focuses on the alarming increase in anti-Asian American hate during the COVID-19 pandemic, resources for Marylanders, and state and federal efforts to protect the AAPI community.
According to a new report released by Stop AAPI Hate, 140 hate incidents have been reported in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia in the last year. In Montgomery County, two Asian restaurant owners in the Silver Spring/Takoma Park area were followed home and robbed of money made at their restaurants last month. Both victims were female, mirroring the fact that the vast majority of anti-Asian hate incidents have targeted AAPI women.
Key Excerpts on Increase in anti-Asian Violence:
- Congressman Raskin: “We are marking a National Day of Action and Healing to oppose the terrible wave of violence against Asian Americans that we've experienced in the country and to stand with our brothers and sisters in the AAPI community.”
- First Lady Hogan: “Today so many Asian Americans live in fear. Why do we need to be afraid? As proud citizens of this country, we shouldn’t be afraid of anything. We must stop hate. Hate has no home here.”
- Governor Hogan: “Things have been happening for a long time. I can tell you I hear stories from my wife and my daughters about things they have experienced their whole lives, but there’s no question that the hatred, the vitriol, the violent attacks have escalated dramatically over the past year as we are all dealing with COVID-19. This is an added burden for the Asian community because they are being blamed for this, and people are taking out frustrations on them. While hate crimes were down in our major cities by 7% over last year, for Asians it went up nearly 150% so there’s no question it’s gotten worse.”
- Delegate Moon: “After a year capped by the President calling this “kung flu” and the “China virus,” we had on the House Floor this past week elected members trying to link immigrants to COVID-19 and 9/11 terrorism so believe me it’s been there since my childhood and it’s on the House Floor this month.”
Key Excerpts on Countering anti-Asian Violence:
- Governor Hogan: “So in response to this uptick in violence and harassment, I directed the Maryland State Police and all of our state and law enforcement agencies to immediately increase enhanced visibility patrols and to try to provide increased protection for members of our Asian community. We also put out bulletins, awareness bulletins, to all the Asian owned businesses that ensure their safety against further attacks. And we are coordinating with all of the local police and sheriff's departments. And the First Lady and I are encouraging anyone who is a victim or who is a witness to a hate crime to please come forward and contact the state police or their local police and report these incidents. A lot of times people are afraid to report the incident, or they don't think that it's going to make a difference. And I just want to encourage everybody to make sure that we are going to take it seriously and it will make a difference.”
- Delegate Moon: "Very directly on hate crimes, we're starting to try and put in options to give judges tools to mandate education programs that actually are proven to reduce recidivism for people who come through them. But part of the challenge there is it requires, as we're noting here, a culture of calling and reporting these crimes. And as we know, there's not just debate about, you know, people are ready to suggest that you're not the victim of a hate crime. But we need to get over that. And tell people to call, that this whole nonsense that they're listening to right now should not be a reason not to call and report these incidents. On the more complicated end of this, I'll just point to. I've been very intrigued and heartened reading commentary from one of the sons of one of the women that was killed in Georgia, and his very clear efforts to rehumanize and recapture the story from this sort of fetish frame. I think that is sort of lurking as a cloud over this story in the media.”
- Congressman Raskin: “In Congress, I just wanted to update you on some of the stuff that we've been doing. The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing last week on anti-Asian discrimination and violence. I was delighted to participate in that hearing. And I benefited from a conversation with the Hogans about what they had experienced. And I was able to refute the idea that this is somehow partisan propaganda. We are looking at a couple of different pieces of legislation to further help law enforcement monitor and enforce in the hate crime field, and one is called the NO HATE Act, and the other is the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. We're looking at both of those. I'm a proud cosponsor both of these bills. And we're working to try to improve the focus of the federal government on this.”
Key Resources for Marylanders:
- Victims and witnesses are encouraged to report incidents to the Maryland Hate Crimes Hotline: 1-866-481-8361?
- The FBI recommends that you first report a hate crime to your local police and then report it to FBI by submitting a tip online at fbi.gov/tips or by calling your local FBI field office.
- The FBI’s Baltimore field office covers the entire state of Maryland and the phone number is 410-265-8080.
- Individuals who have witnessed or experienced a hate incident (including hate speech, harassment, or bullying) are encouraged to report those incidents online at StopAAPIHate.org and StandAgainstHatred.org
- If it is safe to do so, bystanders are encouraged to speak out if they witness a hate crime or incident taking place. To learn more about ways to safely intervene, you can register online for a virtual bystander intervention training hosted by Asian Americans Advancing Justice.