Biden Denounces Racist Attacks on Asian Community: 'It's Un-American and It Must Stop'

President Joe Biden addressed the "vicious" hate crimes against members of the Asian community during his Thursday night primetime address

President Joe Biden is condemning anti-Asian attacks in the wake of rising racism and hate crimes across the country.

During his primetime address Thursday night — in which he gave an update on vaccination plans as well as the nation's plan to emerge from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic — Biden, 78, spoke on the rise in violence and discrimination directed toward the Asian community.

The commander-in-chief called the behavior "un-American" and urged it to end.

"Too often, we've turned against one another," he said. "A mask — the easiest thing to do to save lives — sometimes it divides us. States pitted against one another instead of working with each other. Vicious hate crimes against Asian-Americans who have been attacked, harassed, blamed and scapegoated."

"At this very moment, so many of them, our fellow Americans, they're on the front lines of this pandemic trying to save lives," continued Biden. "And still — still — they are forced to live in fear for their lives just walking down streets in America. It's wrong, it's un-American and it must stop."

Several deadly incidents earlier this year were the latest in a troubling spate of attacks and discrimination against Asian-Americans since the start of COVID-19 pandemic. Some observers have blamed former President Donald Trump — who referred to COVID-19 as the "China virus" and "Kung Flu" — for fueling the racism.

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Joe Biden delivers his first televised address to the nation. MANDEL NGAN/Getty Images

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Last month, New York magazine, citing data from the New York Police Department, reported that there had been a 1,900 percent increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in the city in the past year. The outlet also cited an August 2020 UN report stating that from March to May 2020, an eight-week period, there were more than 1,800 racist incidents against Asian-Americans in the United States.

Additionally, a report released last September by the Stop AAPI Hate Youth Campaign, which surveyed nearly 1,000 Asian-American young adults, found that eight out of 10 respondents expressed anger over the current anti-Asian hate in the United States. An analysis by Stop AAPI Hate, the youth campaign's parent organization, found that one in 10 tweets concerning Asian-Americans in the months before the 2020 presidential election contained racist or disparaging language.

  • If you've been attacked or have witnessed an attack, please contact your local authorities. You can also report your incident here.

In January, Biden signed an executive order condemning the increasing racism toward the Asian/Pacific Islander community because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The emphasis by some political leaders on the geographic origin of the pandemic has "stoked unfounded fears and perpetuated stigma about Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders and [has] contributed to increasing rates of bullying, harassment, and hate crimes against AAPI persons," the executive order stated.

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