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The U.S. Defense Secretary affirmed the country had “lapsed” when it came to the rise of anti-Asian hate while giving a lecture in Singapore.
Working towards a “more perfect union”: Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin spoke about the rise in anti-Asian attacks in the U.S. at the International Institute for Strategic Studies Fullerton Lecture on Tuesday.
Austin revealed how hate targeted at the Asian American and Pacific Islander community was “un-American” and “unacceptable,” reported Military.com.
Representatives of the United Nations shared their concerns about seeing “racially motivated violence” following the onset of COVID-19. UN Secretary-General António Guterres stated how horrific the violence was towards Asians around the world, reported UN News.
"I believe that we're better than that. Far better than that,” Austin said.
Democracy isn’t always done right by the U.S., the defense chief said. However, he added because of democracy, mistakes made are not hidden but “broadcast in loud and living color.”
America's willingness to admit its flaws "gives us the built-in ability to self-correct, and to strive towards a more perfect union," Austin said.
Hate by the numbers: Data showed that anti-Asian hate crimes were up 169% by the first quarter of 2021, NextShark previously reported.
New York had the highest rates of anti-Asian hate crimes with 42 reported in that time frame.
Other countries such as Canada have been seeing a rise in hate crimes, with Vancouver being called the “Anti-Asian Hate Crime Capital of North America,” according to a report cited by Bloomberg.
A separate report shared by non-profit Stop AAPI Hate saw one in five Asian Americans who have experienced racism showed “psychological and emotional harm.”
Steps to end the hate: President Joe Biden appointed Krystal Ka’ai in late May to lead an initiative aimed at reducing anti-Asian hate crimes, bias and more, NextShark reported.
Biden’s appointment of Ka'ai followed his signing of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act to speed up the investigation of COVID-19-related hate crimes.
Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.), the co-author of the law, also secured $30 million to directly benefit community-based organizations as part of the act.
Earlier this month, the NYPD and FBI worked jointly to ensure potential anti-Asian hate crimes were being reported in a public service announcement.
That same week, California issued a $156 million fund for victim-centered solutions in Asian-related hate crimes.
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