Washington—Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today released a statement calling for more action to fight the increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans.
A study released last month reported that from March to December 2020, more than 2,800 incidents of anti-Asian hostility were reported nationwide, nearly 44 percent in California. A separate analysis released earlier this month found that hate crimes against Asians in large cities increased nearly 150 percent last year.
“Over the past few weeks, nominees for the top three leadership positions at the Justice Department have appeared before the Senate Judiciary Committee, as has the director of the FBI. At each hearing the topic of hate crimes came up, in large part due to steep increases in attacks against Asian Americans.
“The increase appears to be based on a fabricated connection between the Asian-American community and the COVID pandemic, a conspiracy theory with no basis in fact that is pure racism. We must rebut the conspiracy theory itself and also directly confront the rise in hate crimes.
“First, we need better data so we can understand what’s happening on the ground. FBI Director Wray at his hearing agreed that without clear data, it’s difficult to determine how to confront this problem.
“Second, Associate Attorney General nominee Vanita Gupta this week said outreach to at-risk communities must be prioritized so they understand the role of local law enforcement agencies and feel safe to report these crimes.
“And third, FBI Director Wray said law enforcement needs more training to identify and report hate crimes. Possible underreporting means this problem may be even more prevalent than we think.
“I look forward to working with the Justice Department and the FBI on ways to reduce these terrible hate crimes and bring our communities closer together.”