Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On Last Night’s Tragic Shootings In Georgia And The Rising Tide Of Abuse And Violence Against Members Of The Asian American Community

March 17, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the tragic shooting in Atlanta last night and the increased number of hate crimes and violent attacks against members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

The people of Atlanta, GA and surrounding communities were just shocked last night by a series of shootings that left 8 people dead, 6 of whom—6 of whom—were of Asian descent.

The motivations behind this devastating tragedy are still unknown; but there is a legitimate concern that these killings may have been racially motivated. Over the past year, the Asian-American community has faced a rising tide of abuse and violence in the wake of COVID-19, driven by ignorance, by misinformation, and by age-old prejudices against the Asian-American community. Tragically, hate crimes against Asian-Americans have skyrocketed.

Mr. President, there is bigotry in the land, and far too much of it. These dark forces have always existed in America, but recently they seem to have been unleashed. The sort of super-ego that puts these things down seems to have weakened, and the id seems to have strengthened. We cannot lose for a moment our vigilance against these forces of hate, intolerance, bigotry and discrimination.

I love the Asian-American community. They have done so much for America. I see it in my borough of Brooklyn, in my city and state of New York, and throughout the country. Hardworking people. People who do so much for our country at every level. They are welcome here. That's America. And yet the bigots have increased hate crimes, and maybe even possibly led to the deaths of these people.

So I hope that all Americans, first, will realize that there is too much hate in the land, that hate against one group is hate against any group, and we should all—Americans of every background and race and creed and color and religion and gender and sexual orientation—band together against the haters. It's so un-American. E pluribus unum. Out of many, one. That's what America has always been. That's what America must continue to be. And our voices must speak out.