After Atlanta spa shootings, Biden denounces hate crimes against Asian Americans

After meeting with Asian American leaders in Atlanta, President Biden condemned the increase in hate crimes against the community during the past year, saying, “We have to speak out. We have to act.”

Video Transcript

JOE BIDEN: But whatever the motivation, we know this-- too many Asian American have been walking up and down the streets and worrying, waking up each morning the past year feeling their safety and the safety of their loved ones are at stake. They've been attacked, blamed, scapegoated, and harassed. They've been verbally assaulted and physically assaulted, killed.

Documented incidents of hate against Asian Americans have seen a skyrocketing spike over the last year, let alone the ones that happen that never get reported. It's been a year of living in fear for their lives just to walk down the street. Grandparents afraid to leave their homes, small business owners targeted and gunned down, attacks on some of the most vulnerable people in our nation-- the elderly, low wage workers, and women.

In fact, Asian American women suffer twice as many incidents of harassment and violence as Asian American men. We're learning again what we've always known. Words have consequences.

It's the coronavirus, full stop. The conversation we had today with the AAPI leaders, and that we're hearing all across the country, is that hate and violence often hide in plain sight. It's often met with silence. That's been true throughout our history.

But that has to change because our silence is complicity. We cannot be complicit. We have to speak out. We have to act.