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Former US Officials Condemn Hate Crimes Targeting Asian Americans

FILE - A woman holds up signs during a Rally Against Hate to end discrimination against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in New York City, March 21, 2021.

A bipartisan group of former U.S. government officials has issued a statement condemning the spike in crimes against Asian-Americans, saying the increase comes as Asians face “wrongful blame for the virus.”

“We, the undersigned Americans of Asian and Pacific Islander (AAPI) descent, who served as senior officials in both Republican and Democratic administrations and congressional offices, strongly denounce the alarming increase in violence, rhetoric, and bigotry against the AAPI community,” the group’s statement read.

Citing statistics provided by the nonprofit group Stop AAPI Hate, the signatories say 2020 witnessed a 150% increase in hate crimes against Asian Americans.

The group says the crimes include bullying, racial epithets, and verbal abuse and harassment and physical violence, some of which has led to death.

“For centuries, [Asian American and Pacific Islanders] have contributed much to the vibrancy and success of this country. Yet we are sometimes still seen as “the foreigner” or “less American” and treated as the “other,” the statement read.

Among those signing the statement are former secretary of transportation Elaine Chao, a Republican, and former commerce secretary and Ambassador to China, Gary Locke, a Democrat.