Apr 30, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Attorneys general to hold national convening against anti-AAPI hate

Photo of Karl Racine speaking and William Tong speaking in separate frames
Photos: Astrid Riecken For The Washington Post via Getty Images and William Tong

District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine and Connecticut Attorney General William Tong will host a national convening to address anti-AAPI hate next week.

Why it matters: Officials have faced increasing pressure to tackle anti-Asian hate in the weeks following a mass shooting in Georgia that killed eight people, including six Asian women. Anti-Asian hate crimes reported to police in some of the largest U.S. cities jumped nearly 150% in 2020, according to the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University.

  • The event is part of Racine's yearlong initiative, "The People v. Hate: Standing Up for Humanity," as president of the National Association of Attorney General Association (NAAG).

Details: The convening, hosted with the Attorney General Alliance, will bring together a range of top legal and policy experts, advocates and business leaders to discuss anti-AAPI hate and "pledge to take educational and actionable steps to help stop it."

  • Slated for Tuesday, the event will kick off Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month.
  • Participants include John Yang from Asian Americans Advancing Justice - AAJC; Sung Yeon Choimorrow from the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum; Manjusha P. Kulkarni from Stop AAPI Hate and Kim Poyer from the FBI.

The big picture: Several attorneys general have spoken out about facing hate and discrimination on the job.

  • Tong, who is Chinese American, was once called "Kim Jong Tong" by an opponent.
  • California Attorney General Rob Bonta, who is Filipino American, has promised to make anti-Asian hate — and hate at large — a priority in his office.
  • Asian Americans are underrepresented in law enforcement, which experts say can make it more difficult for police to identify and counter anti-Asian hate crimes.
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