Majority Leader Schumer Floor Remarks On The Surge In Bigotry, Intolerance, And Prejudice Against The Asian-American Community

March 18, 2021

Washington, D.C.   Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) today spoke on the Senate floor regarding the increased threat of violence against the Asian-American community and standing up for our Asian American brothers and sisters. Below are Senator Schumer’s remarks, which can also be viewed here:

The Asian-American community is still reeling from the senseless murder of 8 people near Atlanta, 6 of whom were women of Asian descent. It will be some time before we understand what drove the madman who perpetrated this crime, but there is no doubt that abuse, prejudice, and violence against Asian-Americans is on the rise, and it is so un-American and so despicable that we all must be speaking out about this.

The same day that 6 Asian women were killed in Georgia, the Stop AAPI Hate organization released a report naming 3,800 incidents of hate against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. That’s just in one year alone.

The fear in the Asian American community and the threat of violence against its members should be a topic of national conversation.

In the last four years, you know, we all know there have been forces of racism, dark forces that have been often seen in America. But the last four years where Donald Trump, at the very minimum, refused to condemn the bigotry in instances when he should have allowed them to come far more up to the surface.

It's as if the society's superego, that keeps these dark forces down, has been greatly diminished or even removed. It is up to us—particularly under a new president who fights bigotry at every step of the way—but it's up to all of us to speak out against it and to act against it.

The story of the Asian-American community is a quintessentially American story. We cannot allow this rising tide of bigotry against them, intolerance against them, the prejudice against Asian-American to go unchecked. Because in a multi-cultural society like ours, an attack on any one group is an attack on everyone.

I love the Asian-American community. They are such fine, good American people.

The story of the Asian American community is a quintessentially an American story. It’s a story of coming here, building strong communities, opening local businesses, churches and civic organizations, and slowly but surely gaining political representation they so deserve.

Just yesterday, we confirmed a nominee whose parents emigrated from Taiwan to become the U.S. Trade Representative. That’s notable and important progress.

But unfortunately, the past few years have shown us that America has not excised the age-old demon of racism and for too many it has become acceptable, permissible, or just shrug your shoulders. That cannot be. With respect to the Asian American community specifically, and all communities, we must condemn rhetoric that is racist. In this case we must condemn any rhetoric that blames the Chinese people for the coronavirus. President Trump did that, despicably. And that notion was too often encouraged by others who repeated his harsh, nasty, and bigoted words. We must stand beside and stand up for our Asian American brothers and sisters.

Americans of every faith, every color, every gender and sexual orientation must band together against these dark forces of Hate.

As I said, they are always with us, but somehow after four years of the Trump presidency, they are rising to the surface and seem too acceptable to too many people. Fight them, fight them, fight them, we must.

As we mourn with the people of Georgia, let us recommit ourselves to that most American of creeds that's right above the mantle where you sit, Mr. President: E Pluribus Unum. Out of many, one.

America, E Pluribus Unum. Out of many, one.

###