New York, NY (January 26, 2021) – Today, President Joe Biden issued a memorandum condemning and combating racism, xenophobia, and intolerance against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. The issue of discrimination and xenophobia has come to the forefront as Chinese Americans and other Asian American groups are accosted, abused, and attacked throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020 alone it was reported that nearly 2,800 hate incidents were committed against Asian Americans (1) and 1 in 4 young Asian Americans experienced a form of anti-Asian hate (2) .
The memorandum from President Biden directs the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to advance cultural sensitivity and mitigate any racially discriminatory language towards Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders related to COVID-19. The memorandum also asks executive departments and agencies to ensure all documents and statements do not contain any xenophobic or racist language. Lastly, the memorandum asks the Attorney General to explore all opportunities to support state and local agencies to combat discrimination,
harassment and hate crimes against the AAPI community.
During the 2020 election cycle, the Biden-Harris campaign laid out three specific areas related to Asian American and Pacific Islander communities: elevating AAPI voices and representation in government, reaffirming our American values as a nation of immigrants, and countering the rise of hate crimes, especially those directed toward Chinese Americans and Asian Americans.
Committee of 100, a non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the advancement and inclusion of Chinese Americans for the past 30 years, strongly supports the Presidential Memorandum signed by President Biden.
Gary Locke, Chairman-Elect of Committee of 100, former Governor of the State of Washington, former U.S. Commerce Secretary, and former U.S. Ambassador to China, stated:
“Committee of 100 supports the full inclusion and advancement of the more than 5 million Chinese Americans in the United States and believes that America is stronger because of its immigrant heritage and diversity. We firmly reject all forms of prejudice, intolerance, and discrimination and stand together with other communities who have experienced systemic injustice and demand equity for all Americans.”
Zhengyu Huang, President of Committee of 100, added:
“Today’s Presidential Memorandum, signed within the first two weeks of the Biden-Harris administration, showcases the critical importance of setting a U.S. agenda that includes the important contributions and voices of Chinese Americans and the Asian American community overall. We look forward to engaging directly with the Biden-Harris Administration in the weeks and months ahead, to combat negative stereotypes and foster positive actions and initiatives.”
Local and national organizations such as Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs (APAPA), Chinese Culture Connection, Inc., United Chinese Americans (UCA) and Ventura County Chinese American Association are among the numerous organizations who join with Committee of 100 in commending the Biden-Harris administration on taking this key step in advancing social justice for Chinese Americans and the AAPI community.
About Committee of 100
Committee of 100 (C100) is a non-profit U.S. leadership organization of prominent and extraordinary Chinese Americans in business, government, academia, healthcare, and the arts. Founded by the late world-renowned architect I.M. Pei and internationally acclaimed cellist Yo-Yo Ma, among others, it is an institution of U.S. citizens of Chinese heritage. For over 30 years, C100 has served as a preeminent organization committed to the dual missions of promoting the full participation of Chinese Americans in all aspects of American life and constructive relations between the United States and Greater China. www.committee100.org. Please follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn for updates.
(1) Research by the Stop AAPI Hate group
(2) Study by the Stop AAPI Hate Youth Campaign