For Immediate Release
March 18, 2021
Livingston, New Jersey: In the wake of rising violence and hate crimes against Asian Americans, the Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE) issues the following statement to denounce the rising crime wave targeting Asian Americans, and to call for thorough investigations and policies to address root causes.
AACE strongly condemns the increasing violence and rising hate incidents targeting Asian Americans in recent months. We call for the federal, state and local governments to take the following actions to better protect Asian-American lives and property. Governments at all levels must address the root causes behind such vicious attacks.
While empirical evidence regarding the causes behind rising anti-Asian crimes is inconclusive at best, neither symbolic proclamation nor one-sided partisan condemnation serves any purpose in alleviating violence and discrimination targeting our fellow Asian Americans. Instead, we must recognize that many of such horrific crimes are also rooted in our society’s growing tendency to engage in racial divisions and toxic identity politics. We must strive for a fair, honest and transparency process to advance equal rights and promote love and unity as fundamental values undergirding a safe and cohesive society.
Most importantly, the recent surge of violence and hate incidents victimizing Asian Americans underscores both political and educational failures in America. These root problems are exacerbated by an unprecedented pandemic, political pandering, persistent underperformance in K-12 public education in inner cities, a lack of adequate parenting, broken families and disheartening community-level despondence. Any well-intentioned attempt to combat the surge must acknowledge deep-seated contributing factors. Therefore,
- AACE calls for the federal, state and local governments to add sufficient law enforcement resources to better protect Asian-American lives and property. They must uphold our constitutional principle of equal protection under the laws as the overarching framework to combat these cruel and often senseless acts and to strengthen social solidarity in lieu of these egregious incidents.
- In an unifying spirit, AACE calls upon federal and local agencies to conduct thorough, evidence-based and transparent investigations to identify the motives and root causes behind such vicious attacks. So far, existing evidence indicates multiple culprits and often conflicting accounts. Many lawmakers and media outlets point finger at the imprudent use of the word of “Chinese” in describing COVID-19. On the other hand, a few studies associate heightening crimes with the baseless labeling of Asian Americans as “privileged” or “over-represented”. Others examine increasing criminality on a general level, such as robberies and looting as a likely result of defunding police and other larger societal factors.
- AACE urges politicians to dissociate the pandemic with any ethnic groups because Asian Americans did not cause the COVID-19 pandemic. Instead, Asian Americans have been working very hard on the front line saving lives, developing cures and helping others. In the Chinese American community alone, since March 2020, more than 690 Chinese-American grassroots organizations have raised over $18 million and delivered millions of personal protection equipment (PPE) and meals to various hospitals, nursing homes, police departments and other agencies.
- AACE also calls upon politicians and the media to stop playing identity politics or labeling Asian Americans as “over-represented” or “privileged.” Asian Americans have been historically discriminated against in American society. Nevertheless, many of us have achieved our American dream solely through hard-work and an emphasis on education and family values, rather than political favoritism or privilege. It is baseless and reckless to stereotype Asian Americans as “over-represented” or “privileged.” This will only create racial animosity against Asian Americans.
- Instead, we must collectively improve education to discourage violent behaviors, bullying, to build bridges, and to promote equal protection under the law. AACE urges educational institutions to abstain from perpetuating racial animosity and to treat everyone equally as Americans. To teach love and understanding as antidote to hate and intolerance, we also must look to solve serious social issues including poverty, drug addictions, broken families, inadequate parenting and community distress which have been well-documented as contributing factors to violent crimes.
- Finally, AACE calls for zero-tolerance on hate languages, pro-violence raps, and foul games that target Asian Americans or any other Americans. Unfortunately there are too many violence-inciting contents in our pop culture that embolden criminal behaviors. In December 2016, over 114,000 Asian Americans signed the White House Petition to request to ban YG’s rap, “meet the flockers” which glorifies robbing Chinese Americans. To our disappointment, the Obama Administration refused to ban such an outrageous rap specifically targeting Chinese Americans. Today, we formally request the Biden Administration again to ban this hate-filled rap because it has been causing more severe harms to the Asian-American community than a racial slur or a cartoon with racial stereotypes.
As a national leader in protecting Asian Americans’ legal rights, we strongly believe the rule of law, zero-tolerance on violence, inclusion, equal treatment of each American, racially harmonious education and responsible parenting are the keys to fight against violence and hate crimes!
Asian American Coalition for Education
About the AACE: www.asianamericanforeducation.org
Asian American Coalition for Education (AACE) is a non-political, nonprofit, grassroots national organization, the proven leader in fighting for Asian-American children’s equal educational rights. On May 15, 2015, the founders of AACE united 64 Asian-American organizations and jointly filed a civil rights complaint with the Department of Education (DOE) and the Department of Justice (DOJ) to request that they conduct investigations into Harvard University’s discriminatory admissions practices against Asian-American applicants. As the largest joint action taken by Asian-American communities over the last few decades, this complaint is now being investigated by the Justice Department. Over the years, we have advanced the cause of equal education rights for the Asian-American community. In July 2018, the federal government adopted our policy recommendations by rescinding Obama era guidance that promoted racial balancing and acquiesced to racial discrimination in college admissions.