Costa Forum Addresses Rise in Asian Hate Crimes, Commitment to Protect Victims
FRESNO – Congressman Jim Costa (CA-16) hosted a forum with local leaders from the Asian-American community to address the recent rise in anti-Asian hate crimes across the country. Among the topics of discussion include the impact of these events on valley Asian communities and ways to support victims.
“The rise of anti-Asian sentiment in this country must be stopped,” said Costa. “The violent attacks and vitriol hurled against this marginalized community is a direct consequence of discriminatory rhetoric used by leaders and high-profile individuals since the start of the pandemic. Words matter. This forum aims to address the role we all play in stopping the spread of hate and standing up for our friends and neighbors who live in fear.”
Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a surge of discrimination and violent attacks against Asian Americans across the United States. In the past year alone, nearly 4,000 incidents of anti-Asian hate were reported in the United States. Many of these attacks have been inspired and fueled by misinformation or misconceptions that Asians are more likely to carry and spread the virus.
Rep. Costa and attendees reiterated the need to dispel these false and dangerous myths, which cause unimaginable harm and suffering to millions of Americans every day.
"Our Southeast Asian community has been devastated by the COVID 19 pandemic since March of 2020. The rampant Xenophobia exacerbates the already disproportionate impact of the pandemic and puts our SEA community even further behind to recovery. The social and economic impact cannot be measured because the impact of "hate" cannot be quantified nor justified in our American society." - Blong Xiong, Executive Director of ABIRC and former Fresno City Councilmember
Congressman Costa has decried the rise of violence against Asian Americans and is a co-sponsor of several resolutions, including H. Res 275 and H. Res 151, both condemning anti-Asian sentiment and violence. He also plans to support the reintroduction of the No Hate Act.
Rep. Costa also commends the City of Fresno for denouncing the rise of anti-Asian sentiment and creating a dedicated office to help connect marginalized communities with resources such as law enforcement, education, and immigration services.
Members of the public can help end the rise of anti-Asian rhetoric and violence by calling out racism and discrimination – and reporting a crime-- if they see it happening, sharing verified information and facts, and refraining from using racist and xenophobic language when referring to COVID-19.
Other ways to help:
Where do I report a hate crime? Hate crime victims and witnesses should call local law enforcement officials or call 911 if emergency services are needed. You can also report the incident to the FBI to ensure proper recording of hate crime data here.
Where do I report a hate incident? Individuals who have experienced a hate incident (including hate speech, bullying or violence) are encouraged to report to one of the following sites, where they can safely document their incident and seek additional resources:
What should I do if I witness a hate crime or incident? If it’s safe to do so, bystanders are encouraged to speak out if they witness a crime or incident taking place. To learn more about the ways to safely intervene, you can register for a virtual bystander intervention training here. Additional bystander intervention resources are available here.