US President Joe Biden called on the public on Friday to denounce racist acts in an intervention against racist violence against Asian Americans in which he criticized Donald Trump’s designation of the coronavirus as “China virus”.
“Our silence is complicit. We cannot be accomplices, ”Biden said at the end of a visit accompanied by Vice President Kamala Harris to the city of Atlanta, where eight people, six of them Asians, were killed by a sniper this week.
Biden said it was “heartbreaking” to hear reports from state lawmakers and leaders of the Asian-American community about fear of racist attack.
Harris, the first Vice President of Asian descent, the daughter of an Indian mother, has pledged to continue “condemning violence, hate crime and discrimination wherever and in whatever form”.
“There is racism in America. And it always existed. Xenophobia is real in America. Sexism too, ”Harris said at the end of the visit.
More than 2,800 racist and discriminatory acts against the Asian community in the United States were reported online between March and December last year, according to the Stop AAPI Hate Association.
During the pandemic, attacks against Asian Americans, especially women, increased exponentially, which some experts attribute to the anti-China discourse on social media and was even promoted by the previous American administration – former President Donald Trump always referred to Covid-19 as “Virus from China”.
Not to mention Trump, Biden said Friday that “words always have consequences”.
“It’s the coronavirus. Period, paragraph, ”said the American President.
Harris criticized that “people of great power” had “made scapegoats of Asian Americans” and “spread hatred with the highest pulpits” last year.
The Biden government intends to pass a law against hate crimes related to the pandemic, strengthening the government’s ability to respond to these types of cases and, in particular, increasing funding for the Asian ancestry community.