ACLU Calls on Elected Officials to Denounce Rise of Racist Attacks on Asian Americans Amid COVID-19

April 27, 2020 3:00 pm

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WASHINGTON — The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and six ACLU state affiliates sent letters to state and local officials across the country urging public responses to the increasing incidents of harassment, discrimination, and attacks on Asians in America amid the COVID-19 pandemic. In two weeks alone, there were over 1,100 reports of bias-based attacks on Asians in America.

In these letters, the ACLU is calling on state and local elected officials to publicly denounce attacks against Asian communities, and the scapegoating of Chinese community members in particular, and state that Asians are an integral part of our communities.

“No amount of fear justifies the prejudice, discrimination, and attacks against Asians that we are seeing today,” said Manar Waheed, senior legislative counsel at the ACLU. “Racist scapegoating has a long and ugly history that has impacted countless communities of color. It is critical that Asian people feel safe, especially in these extraordinary times, so we have to make sure local officials are making clear that any anti-Asian sentiment is un-American.”

Affiliates that have sent or signed onto letters to state officials include the ACLU of Florida, ACLU of Michigan, ACLU of Ohio, ACLU of Oregon, ACLU of Virginia, and the ACLU of Wisconsin.

In these letters, the ACLU is urging local elected officials to release a public statement denouncing the spread of xenophobia and racism against Asian community members and the misinformation driving them.

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