In response to rising anti-Asian sentiment caused by the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, Rep. Grace Meng, D-NY, introduced a resolution to denounce anti-Asian sentiment related to COVID-19.
The increased use of anti-Asian rhetoric, particularly from our nation’s leaders such as the President, and their use of terms like ‘Chinese virus,’ ‘Wuhan virus,’ and ‘Kung-flu,’ is not only irresponsible, reckless, and downright disgusting, it threatens the safety of the Asian American community; such language demeans, disparages, and scapegoats Asian Americans,” said Meng, vice chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC).
“Asian Americans, like millions of others across the nation, are worried about the coronavirus; however, so many Asian Americans are also living in fear following the dramatic increase of threats and attacks against those of Asian descent,” she continued.
“The House must take a strong stand against the sickening intolerance, bigotry, and violence that is leaving a terrible stain on our nation’s history, especially during this moment of an unprecedented public health crisis,” Meng added.
Meng’s House Resolution can be viewed here.
Meng’s resolution is in stark contrast to another introduced by Reps. Jim Banks (R-IN) and Seth Moulton (D-MA) that would condemn China for its handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The so-called bipartisan resolution blaming China has only one Democrat, Moulton supporting it along with 40 Republicans.
However, it has come under criticism by other Democrats, including Rep. Judy Chu, chair of the CAPAC. “People are afraid and angry,” she said. “Directing that anger toward China puts Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders at risk,” says Chu.
“This resolution puts American lives in danger,” Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.), Chu told Democrats in a conference call. According to one Democrat on the call, Chu said, “I would like to say to my Democratic colleagues, ‘Please do not sign on to this resolution.’”
“Of course, no one should make the mistake of believing that members of the Asian American community or Chinese citizens are responsible for or associated with the Chinese government’s lies,” Banks told NBC News. “Anyone not able to make that distinction would be guilty of discrimination.”
Banks’ belief, though flies against the reality of the racism spurring the attacks on AAPI people. Bigots cannot, or will not, distinguish between China and Asian Americans. Chinese Americans and other Asian ethnic and national subgroups have been victims of harassment, verbal and physical attacks by people who have used the virus as an excuse to openly express their racism.
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