An Asian Advocacy Coalition Against Anti-Asian Violence Demands Action From the Biden Administration

Stand for Asians Sign (Marc Ang)

On April 6, a nationwide coalition of Asian-American advocacy groups called on the Biden administration to take concrete action to combat anti-Asian racism and violence.

The coalition was spearheaded by Marc Ang, creator of Asian Industry B2B in California, and Linda Yang, Director of Washington Asians for Equality in Washington State. Ying Ma moderated the discussion.

Ying Ma made the point that,

“It is a non-partisan group. These should not be political issues, even though they have been politicized in recent months.”

Sixty media outlets were in attendance to hear this coalition urge the Biden administration to take concrete steps. Though President Joe Biden has repeatedly condemned anti-Asian hate and has proposed measures to address the problem, thus far his administration has failed to fully identify and properly address crucial issues of longstanding violence and racism against Asian Americans.

“Stopping racism and violence against Asian Americans will require courage and moral clarity,” Linda Yang said.

“We hope the Biden administration will rise to the occasion by not only speaking honestly about anti-Asian hate crimes, even when it might be uncomfortable, but also taking real action to tackle problems that contribute to anti-Asian discrimination, whether in America’s higher education or on the streets in our local communities.”

The coalition called for the administration to reinstate the Justice Department’s lawsuit against Yale University regarding discrimination against Asian-American applicants in undergraduate admissions, and denounce racial preferences and other systemically racist practices commonly used to reduce the number of Asian-American students at educational institutions. Critical Race Theory, which the Trump administration rejected, but the Biden administration has reinstituted, is one of their targets.

“Biden needs to acknowledge that Asian American racism has existed before the COVID-19 pandemic and this country has failed to address it,” Yang said.

The coalition also called for Biden to publicly state that all perpetrators of violent attacks against Asian Americans must be condemned and punished, regardless of the perpetrator’s race.

As Ang said,

“The overall national coverage on attacks on Asians, while well-intentioned, there was a quick, knee-jerk reaction to further certain narratives at the expense of others.

“In Atlanta there were false emails that furthered a white supremacy narrative that never existed.”

The coalition’s third demand was to appoint Vice President Kamala Harris to work with local and state law enforcement, especially in urban areas, to strengthen police protection for Asian Americans in their communities.

Ang also encouraged

“the media to start looking at different angles of these events that have happened and stop jumping to conclusions. And to highlight some powerful moments, like the woman who prevailed against her attacker.”

If there is to be bias in the media, make it toward positivity as well.

“There is nuance to this cause,” Ang said. “There is a different reality we see when we deal with people than what we see in the media.”

Yang reinforced this need to discard tropes and tell the story, not push a narrative.

“There is very little white supremacy. There is violence from different racists that do not get covered.

“Stopping racism and violence against Asian Americans will require courage and moral clarity,” Yang said.

“We hope the Biden administration will rise to the occasion by not only speaking honestly about anti-Asian hate crimes, even when it might be uncomfortable, but also taking real action to tackle problems that contribute to anti-Asian discrimination, whether in America’s higher education or on the streets in our local communities.”