The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties will hear from four Asian American female lawmakers: Sen. Tammy Duckworth, Reps. Doris Matsui, Judy Chu and Grace Meng.
Other panel witnesses include actor Daniel Dae Kim, University of Minnesota professor Erika Lee, and Asian Americans Advancing Justice president John C. Yang.
Reports of anti-Asian hate incidents have risen in recent months, including several unprovoked violent attacks on elderly Asian Americans
, with at least three in the Bay Area captured in disturbing videos this year.
Asian Americans have reported being targeted at least 500 times
in the first two months of this year, according to a recent report from the organization Stop AAPI Hate. The majority of these — 68% — were verbal harassment, while 11% involved physical assaults, according to Stop AAPI Hate. The group said it received at least 3,795 complaints since it began tracking violence and harassment against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders on March 19 of last year.
Thursday’s House committee hearing will also address the history of racism and xenophobia against Asian Americans, which dates back to the 19th century.
The hearing also comes after a string of shootings in the Atlanta area
left eight people dead — six of whom were of Asian women. Though the motive of the killer is still being investigated, the killings have exacerbated existing fears
among the Asian American community.
In a statement Wednesday, House Judiciary Committee Chair Rep. Jerry Nadler and the subcommittee’s chair Rep. Steve Cohen said the “horrific violence” in Georgia is “another reminder of why we need urgently to address the fear gripping the Asian American community, in part stemming from racist incidents related to the coronavirus pandemic. “