WASHINGTON – President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris on Friday condemned racism against Asian Americans, days after a shooting deaths of six Asian American women in the Atlanta area. The act of violence has rocked Asian American communities, in Georgia and across the country, already frustrated with a lack of action on a surge of pandemic-related discrimination.
Biden and Harris, the first Asian American vice president, met with Georgia state legislators and Asian American and Pacific Islander advocates to listen to their perspectives on the rise in hate incidents targeting Asian Americans.
“The conversation we had today with the AAPI leaders, and that we’re hearing all across the country is that hate and violence often hide in plain sight,” Biden said during remarks after the listening session. It’s often met with silence … but that has to change. Because our silence is complicity. We cannot be complicit.”
Harris, who introduced Biden, noted that “whatever the killer’s motive,” the shooting “took place as violent hate crimes and discrimination against Asian Americans has risen dramatically over the last year.”
“Racism is real in America. And it has always been. Xenophobia is real in America, and always has been. Sexism, too,” she said.
Without naming former President Donald Trump, who often used racist language to describe COVID-19, Harris noted that “for the last year we’ve had people in positions of incredible power, scapegoating…