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‘No One Should Live in Fear’: EC Council Considers Response to Anti-Asian Hate Crimes

resolution on council agenda for Tuesday meeting

Tom Giffey |

Hate crimes targeting Asian Americans nationwide have prompted demonstrations, including this one in Columnbus, Ohio, on March 20. (Photo by Paul Becker / CC BY 2.0)
Hate crimes targeting Asian Americans nationwide have prompted demonstrations, including this one in Columnbus, Ohio, on March 20. (Photo by Paul Becker / CC BY 2.0)

“No one should live in fear in our communities across Wisconsin” declares a resolution condemning hate crimes against Asian Americans, which will be considered by the Eau Claire City Council at its Tuesday, March 23, meeting.

A vote on the resolution will come one week after a mass shooting in the Atlanta metro area left eight people dead, six of whom were Asian women. The incident has brought nationwide attention to what experts say is a rising tide of hate crimes against Asian Americans since the COVID-19 pandemic began last year.

Councilmembers Mai Xiong and Andrew Werthmann sponsored the resolution, the second to condemn racism to be considered by the council in the past year. The first came last June 9, when the council voted to issue a statement denouncing “all forms of brutality, racism, hatred, and bigotry” following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

The latest document, titled “Resolution condemning violence against the Asian Pacific Islander Desi American community,” notes that a recent study found that violence and hate crimes against Asian Americans rose 150% in major U.S. cities last year, and that crimes against elderly Asian Americans have spiked this year.

In part,the resolution declares: “The Eau Claire City Council condemns all acts of racism, xenophobia, sexism, gender-based violence, discrimination, anti-Asian bias, scapegoating, and ethnic or religious intolerance” and “encourages leaders at all levels to recommit the United States to serve as a world leader in building more inclusive, diverse, and tolerant communities.”

The resolution is on the agenda for Tuesday’s City Council meeting, which will begin at 4pm and will be accessible to the public via remote access.

Below is the entire text of the resolution:

RESOLUTION

RESOLUTION CONDEMNING VIOLENCE AGAINST THE ASIAN PACIFIC ISLANDER DESIAMERICAN (APIDA)COMMUNITY.

WHEREAS, 23 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders account for 7 percent of the population in the United States; and

WHEREAS, anti-Asian racism and hate are not new and have a long history in the United States; and

WHEREAS, Asian Americans have far too long been the target of xenophobic policies, labor exploitation, hate crimes, and systemic racism in the United States; and

WHEREAS, the use of anti-Asian rhetoric, especially as it intensified this past year, has resulted in Asian Americans being harassed, assaulted, and scapegoated for the COVID–19 pandemic; and

WHEREAS, violence and hate crimes against Asian Americans have increased by 150 percent in major U.S. cities; and

WHEREAS, in the last year, Asian American and Pacific Islander women made up 68 percent of the 3,800 incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders; and

WHEREAS, since the start of year 2021, there has been a surge in anti-Asian attacks targeting elderly Asian Americans; and

WHEREAS, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recognize that naming COVID–19 by its geographic location or linking it to a specific ethnicity perpetuates stigma; and

WHEREAS, no one should live in fear in our communities across Wisconsin and the United States.

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Eau Claire City Council that the City of Eau Claire condemns violence of all forms against the APIDA community.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Eau Claire City Council condemns all acts of racism, xenophobia, sexism, gender-based violence, discrimination, anti-Asian bias, scapegoating, and ethnic or religious intolerance.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Eau Claire City Council encourages leaders at all levels to recommit the United States to serve as a world leader in building more inclusive, diverse, and tolerant communities.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Eau Claire City Council encourages the Attorney General to work with State and local agencies and Asian American and Pacific Islander community-based organizations to prevent discrimination, and expand culturally competent and linguistically appropriate education campaigns on public reporting of hate crimes.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Eau Claire City Council recognizes the City of Eau Claire Police Department in its continuing work with local agencies and Asian American and Pacific Islander community-based organizations to prevent discrimination, expand culturally competent and linguistically appropriate education campaigns on public reporting of hate crimes, and build intentional relationships with the diverse communities.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Eau Claire City Council encourages everyone to condemn anti-Asian bias, read, learn, and seek opportunities to experience cultures other than their own, review their practices that may create barriers or contribute to systemic racism, and in these ways and others seek to become a more welcoming, inclusive, anti-racist community.