While Hopeful, MN Asian Americans Want Details on Anti-Hate Efforts
Monday, February 1, 2021
MINNEAPOLIS -- A key advocacy group for Asian Americans in Minnesota hopes the country is turning the corner on reducing hateful rhetoric toward community members.
But it said emerging plans need more detail, and lack of diversity in government still is a concern.
Last week, President Joe Biden signed a memorandum condemning and combating racism and xenophobia against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
The move directs the Justice Department to enhance efforts on data collection and reporting of hate crimes and harassment.
Nick Kor, senior manager of movement building for Minnesota's Coalition of Asian-American Leaders, said authorities need to do a thorough breakdown when taking a closer look at the numbers.
"Because the Asian-American experience is so wide and diverse, clumping everyone together within [the] Asian-American checkbox can be misleading at times," Kor explained.
He noted that's true for measuring data in other areas, such as education. But Kor added they're encouraged to see Biden condemn rhetoric such as "China virus" that former President Donald Trump used to describe COVID-19.
Meanwhile, several Asian-American groups said while having Kamala Harris as vice president honors their heritage, they're disappointed to see no representation in top Cabinet secretary choices.
Kor argued it added to the "invisibility" narrative Asian-Americans face, despite findings from the Pew Research Center showing them as the nation's fastest-growing group of eligible voters.
"It's really, really critical that administrations recognize that, not only for our contributions to the country, but also our growing political power," Kor asserted.
He acknowledged there are promising developments with more Asian Americans being elected to the state Legislature, and several who serve on the new People of Color and Indigenous Caucus.
And Kor pointed to more Asian-American representation on the St. Paul City Council and in surrounding suburbs. But he indicated he would like to see more progress in Minneapolis government.
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