President Joe Biden issued a proclamation Friday declaring May Asian American Native Hawaiian Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
The President said the country recommits to the struggle for AANHPI equity and honors the leadership, resilience, and courage shown by those communities.
“From laying railroad tracks, tilling fields, and starting businesses, to caring for our loved ones and honorably serving our Nation in uniform, AANHPI communities are deeply rooted in the history of the United States,” Biden declared.
He singled out health care providers, first responders, teachers, and other essential workers on the frontline fighting COVID-19 while acknowledging those in the the arts, law, science and technology, sports and public service.
He also touted Vice President Kamala Harris for blazing a trail and setting an example for young people to follow, including those from the AANHPI communities and AANHPI women.
At the same time, he recognized the “heightened fear” faced by many Asian American communities.
“Acts of anti-Asian bias are wrong, they are un-American, and they must stop,” he said. “My Administration will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with AANHPI communities in condemning, denouncing, and preventing these acts of violence. We will continue to look for opportunities to heal together and fight against the racism and xenophobia that still exists in this country.”
He pointed out past injustices including the the Page Act of 1875, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, the incarceration of Japanese American citizens during World War II, the murder of Vincent Chin, the mass shooting of Southeast Asian refugee children in 1989, and the targeting of South Asian Americans, especially those who are Muslim, Hindu, or Sikh, after the national tragedy of 9/11.
“Vice President Harris and I affirm that Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders make our Nation stronger. I urge my fellow Americans to join us this month in celebrating AANHPI history, people, and cultures.”
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