More Troubling AAPI Hate Crime Numbers
Despite efforts to stop hate crimes against the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community, the incidents still continue. New numbers from the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino show another surge in anti-AAPI hate crimes in major cities across the country. When compared to 2020 figures, San Francisco saw an astonishing 576 percent increase, while Los Angeles experienced a 173 percent jump in 2021. Clearly, people are still wrongly blaming one group for the pandemic.
To help address the problem, I introduced AB 1947 today, requiring all California law enforcement agencies to adopt an updated hate crimes policy - which unbelievably, is not required by the state. Such guidelines should include how authorities recognize, report and respond to hate crimes, bringing consistency to responses victims receive and the information being collected. Ultimately, with a more accurate picture of hate in our state, we can enact better solutions and appropriate needed resources. My proposal has the support of Monthanus Ratanapakdee, whose 84-year-old father, Vichar, was killed a year ago during his daily walk around his San Francisco neighborhood.
While AB 1947 was inspired by AAPI hate, the legislation would apply to all races, religions, disabilities, genders, sexual orientation and other protected characteristics. Hate crimes were up 11 percent overall last year, with African Americans remaining the most targeted community. There has also been a resurgence in anti-Semitic hate crimes.
This has to end. We can only get through the pandemic if we stand united.
Assemblymember, 19th District