In Wake of Atlanta Shooting and Continued Violence Aimed at AAPI Community, Sens. Warnock, Hirono Pen Letter Urging Colleagues to Support COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act

Sens. Warnock, Hirono: “We owe this to the victims. We owe this to our AAPI community. We owe this to our nation.”
In March, Senator Warnock introduced a bicameral resolution condemning the shooting in Atlanta, reaffirming Congress’s commitment to combat hate against the AAPI community

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senators Reverend Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Mazie Hirono (D-HI) penned a letter to their Senate colleagues urging the swift passage of COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act (S.937). In the wake of the shooting in Atlanta that claimed 8 lives, the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act responds to the horrific surge of violence directed towards the AAPI community since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. This bill, introduced by Senator Hirono and co-sponsored by Senator Warnock, would address the violence against AAPI communities by dedicating an official at the U.S. Department of Justice to expeditiously review hate crimes reported to law enforcement. The bill also provides resources for communities to come together and fight intolerance and hate, and strengthens the enforcement of hate crimes laws already on the books.

“This is a moment of deep and tragic darkness for our nation. But the United States Senate can be a beacon of hope and light in this moment by passing the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act,” the letter reads. “Colleagues, many argue that the Senate can no longer legislate in a bipartisan manner to address our country’s toughest challenges. We reject that assumption. And we boldly call on all of our colleagues to put aside partisan politics and posturing to come together and reject violence against the AAPI community. Let us send a clear message that hate, bigotry, and anti-Asian sentiment have no place in our country. The people of the United States will always remember the victims of these senseless acts of violence.  Let this painful moment in our history also be remembered as a time when the United States Senate stood in solidarity with those affected by these acts of hate and violence, and acted to address this hate and prevent acts of violence like this from happening again.  We owe this to the victims. We owe this to our AAPI community. We owe this to our nation.”

Read full letter HERE.