New Delhi, WASHINGTON DC, Agency News: U.S. Reps. Judy Chu (CA-27) and Raja Krishnamoorthi (IL-8) joined respected experts from around the United States and Canada for a panel, hosted by the U.S.-India Political Action Committee (USINPAC) to address violence and hatred against Asian Americans. Also joining the panel were Dr. Pawan Dhingra, Professor of American Studies at Amherst College; Shawn Singh Ghuman, Co-Founder of the National Sikh Campaign; Dr. Maria Hwang, Professor of East Asian and Gender Studies at McGill University in Montreal; Aarti Kohli, Executive Director for Advancing Justice – Asian Law Caucus and USINPAC Chairman Sanjay Puri. 


“The world is facing a lot of challenges, especially in the United States as the pandemic has spiraled out of control and, as a consequence of that, we have seen actions that have impacted the Asian American community,” said Puri. “We brought together this distinguished panel to discuss this issue and inform Indian Americans, and all Asian Americans, about what is being done to keep them safe.”

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the early months of 2020, there has been a serious increase in the amount of anti-Asian rhetoric and violence throughout the country. As part of its bi-weekly series of panels addressing issues of importance to the Indian American community, USINPAC’s panel brought together members of Congress as well as experts from academia and the private sector to discuss these issues.

“This has been an incredibly difficult year for all of us as our country has struggled with a dangerous pandemic, an economic recession and historic grappling with issues of systemic racism, prejudice and violence,” said Rep. Judy Chu. “Since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, there have been over 3,800 reported anti-Asian hate crimes and incidents, fueled by Donald Trump’s usage of the terms ‘China Virus’ and ‘Kung Flu,’ fanning the flames of xenophobia.” 

“It is deeply disturbing, this rise of hate. The rise in hate crimes has been 169 percent in just the last year,” said Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi. “That number has also been going up steadily in the past five years. Combined with domestic, violent extremism, driven largely by white nationalism, this is an issue that we have to be worried about. We have to fight discrimination, bigotry, intolerance, prejudice and hate wherever it rears its ugly head.” 

Both Chu and Krishnamoorthi addressed specific instances of violence toward Asian Americans that have been widely publicized, including the shootings in Indianapolis and Atlanta. They both also spoke about legislation Congress is taking up to tackle this pressing issue. Chu mentioned her meeting with President Biden in the Oval Office to discuss his plan and the U.S. Senate’s 94-1 passing of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which includes the text from her bill, the No Hate Act. Krishnamoorthi discussed his Bi-Partisan Hate Crimes Commission Act which is co-sponsored by 150 U.S. representatives.

The full panel can be viewed on USINPAC’s Facebook page, here. A clip of Rep. Chu’s remarks can be found here and a clip of Rep. Krishnamoorthi’s remarks can be found here.