Rep. Chu & Son of Atlanta Shooting Victim Praise President Biden’s Commitment to Stopping Anti-Asian Hate Crimes
Washington, D.C. – Today, President Biden gave an address to a joint session of Congress detailing his plans to end the coronavirus pandemic, rebuild our economy, improve our immigration system, and more. During the speech, the President also addressed what his Administration is doing to help combat anti-Asian hate crimes, including the President’s support for the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act introduced by Rep. Grace Meng and Sen. Mazie Hirono which includes the text of the NO HATE Act introduced by Rep. Judy Chu.
For this year’s speech, Rep. Chu invited Robert Peterson, the son of Yong Ae Yue, one of the eight people killed by a gunman who targeted three Asian-owned spas in Georgia last month, to be her virtual guest. On Tuesday, Robert and Rep. Chu held a virtual conversation on how Robert remembers his mother, what happened that day, the response from the community, and why he hoped to hear the President include a reference to his mother and anti-Asian violence in his remarks. Rep. Chu and Robert Peterson issued the following statements:
“I am so grateful to President Biden for giving voice to the pain in the Asian American community in tonight’s speech,” said Rep. Chu. “Coming in the midst of a pandemic and recession, the President’s first address to a joint session of Congress is one I know many Americans are paying attention to. And so to have the President use this platform to help call attention to the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes we have seen over the past year, and what we can do to stop it, is significant. The most important step in ending this bigotry and violence is to put an end to state-led xenophobia and urge communities to come together in support of each other, which is precisely what President Biden did tonight by calling out hate speech and calling for unity. And it shows that, after years of being largely invisible, the Asian American community’s needs and fears are being heard at the highest level. This is precisely why I invited Robert to be my virtual guest tonight. We cannot let the country forget the real human cost of hate and violence and I’m grateful to the President for his words of support, not only for the Asian American community but for George Floyd and the injustice of police brutality and discrimination against the Black community. We must come together to defeat all hate.”
"I believe this is a time for all Americans to come together to fight bias and racial violence whenever we see it,” said Robert Peterson. “I so appreciate President Biden addressing the hate against the AAPI community and challenging all of us to see humanity in one another. With additional protections for Asian Americans through legislation, I pray that no one will ever have to deal with the horrible murder of my mother that I did simply because of who she was and where she worked. I look forward to the president signing this legislation into law. "