Linda Yang Speech at Press Conference: Asian Americans Call on Biden Administration to Address Violence and Racism with Concrete Action

Racism against Asian Americans is nothing new. It is unfortunate that it has taken so many recent tragic incidents and deaths for Americans to wake up to the racism Asian Americans have been facing for so many years. The recent interest in anti-Asian hate crime coverage and the current public debate serves as an opportunity to take a hard look at this country’s long history of anti-Asian sentiment. We condemn anti-Asian hate crimes and racism across the country and call on action, not empty rhetoric, to end anti-Asian racism.

Anti-Asian racism comes in many shapes and forms. While people are appalled by the brutal attacks on Asians, they should be equally outraged that Asian students are being deprived of their fair chance at a college education due to their race.

Politicians are coming to rallies, speaking on TVs to show their support to the Asian American community. Yet, talks are cheap. Therefore, we formed a national coalition and asking for real actions.

Education changes lives. Many of us were very disappointed when DOJ dropped the Yale lawsuit only 2 weeks after President Biden took office. Our first ask of real action is for President Biden to reinstate the DOJ Yale lawsuit. We are not asking anyone to take a side on this case. Judge will issue the final ruling. We are asking a chance of Discovery and a chance of fair trial. The DOJ’s two year Yale investigation found that Asian Americans have only one-eighth of the likelihood of admission as African American applicants with comparable academic credentials.  Asian students who were rejected by Yale need a closure.

Let me read one message that was posted on Chinese social media:

“This year, the top students in our high school applying for CS, no one got in, UC Berkeley, UCLA none was accepted. The best was waitlisted.. The only one of my son’s friends who was accepted to Berkeley applied for mechanical engineering. My friend was in Palo Alto and said they were in the same boat. ” College admission is stressful. And the added stress to Asian students is that knowing their race would play against them. If this is not racism, then what is? Does this country have the courage to admit and address anti-Asian racism in higher education?

To truly combat anti-Asian racism, we need to look at the root causes, and have difficult conversations. As the nation’s leader, we hope that President Biden has the courage to officially acknowledge that anti-Asian racism has existed before the COVID 19 pandemic, and this country has failed to adequately address longstanding violence and racism against Asians.

Any anti-Asian hate crime is a hate crime. Any anti-Asian racism is racism. It is important that President Biden make a clear public stand that any perpetrators of a violent attack against an Asian American will be publicly condemned and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law regardless of the perpetrator’s race.

The Asian American community has always embraced law and order.  Many victims of those violent attacks are women and elderlies. The most vulnerable members of our community. Last month, Maryland Governor Hogan announced enhanced visibility patrols to protect Asian businesses and communities. We praise Governor Hogan’s swift action in protecting the Asian American community. To protect ALL Asian American communities across the country, we need leadership in Washington to take actions. We call on VP Kamala Harris to be appointed as the head of the national law and order effort to strengthen police protection for Asian Americans in their communities. We need to be proactive. We need to not only respond to attacks, but also prevent attacks from happening.

Lastly, I want to use this opportunity to call out the racism exists right here, in Washington State. Just yesterday, despite our repeated ask to table SB 5228, a bill that would create ratio quotas against Asian students in medical school admissions, Democrat controlled WA legislature passed that bill by party line vote.  And last month, Democrat leadership in the Senate sat on a bill with bi-partisan support and let it die at cutoff. If passed, SB 5264 would encourage public schools to commemorate Chinese American’s history.

Politicians talking about fighting against anti-Asian racism with words. We are demanding actions. Actions speak louder than words.

Thank you!

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