THE SENATE

S.C.R. NO.

66

THIRTY-FIRST LEGISLATURE, 2021

S.D. 1

STATE OF HAWAII

H.D. 1

 

 

 

 

SENATE CONCURRENT

RESOLUTION

 

 

CONDEMNING AND DENOUNCING ALL FORMS OF ANTI-ASIAN SENTIMENT AND ALL ACTS OF RACISM, XENOPHOBIA, INTOLERANCE, DISCRIMINATION, HATE CRIME, AND HATE SPEECH AGAINST ASIAN AMERICANS AND ASIAN INDIVIDUALS IN THE UNITED STATES AND REQUESTING THE HAWAII CIVIL RIGHTS COMMISSION TO ANALYZE AND REPORT ON ANTI-ASIAN SENTIMENT AND ACTS IN THE STATE.

 

 


WHEREAS, racism and discrimination towards individuals of Asian origin based on unfounded fear have existed for many years in the United States, manifesting in hate crimes and enactment of racist laws such as:

 

(1) The Chinese Massacre of 1871, in which twenty Chinese men were lynched by five hundred white men in Los Angeles who were provoked by "yellow peril" fear of an Asian invasion and resentment of cheap labor coming from China;

 

(2) The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 that banned new Chinese immigrants and prevented existing Chinese residents from becoming U.S. citizens until 1943, instigated by the same fear against individuals of Chinese descent;

 

(3) The internment and confiscation of property of over 120,000 Japanese Americans during World War II, due to war propaganda depicting Asians as crafty and cunning, despite many of their families fighting against the Japanese as members of the United States armed forces;

 

(4) The 1982 symbolic murder of Vincent Chin, a Chinese American, in Detroit, Michigan, by white automobile workers enraged by the success of Japanese automobile manufacturers in the United States at a time when America was losing manufacturing jobs; and

 

(5) The revenge-motivated crimes against Hindus, Muslim, and Sikhs, many of whom were South Asians, in the wake of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks; and

 

WHEREAS, despite the undeniable history of persistent discrimination, violence, and hate crimes against Asians in the United States, racism against Asians is often considered nonexistent, insignificant, or justified, due to a false but pervasive stereotype about the Asian community being a "model minority", a myth that was created during the Civil Rights era to stymie racial justice movements, which suggests a fallacy that Asian Americans are more successful than other ethnic minorities, and therefore, they do not experience struggle, racial discrimination, violence, or hate crimes; and

 

WHEREAS, as the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic began to spread across the United States in early 2020, prominent public figures and the media utilized politically-charged, inflammatory, and xenophobic rhetoric when referring to COVID-19 as the "Chinese virus", "Wuhan virus", and "kung flu" to push an unproven theory that COVID-19 originated in a lab in China; and

 

WHEREAS, according to a poll taken of the adult population in the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, approximately three in ten Americans hold China or Chinese people responsible for the pandemic; and

 

WHEREAS, since the outbreak of COVID-19, anti-Asian sentiment surged and random crimes and hate crimes against Asians skyrocketed, instigating violent attacks against individuals of not only Chinese, but also of Thai, Vietnamese, Filipino, Korean, Japanese, and other Asian origins; and

 

WHEREAS, an August 2020 report by the United Nations found more than one thousand eight hundred racist incidents against Asians in the United States over an eight-week period from March to May 2020, and data from the New York Police Department showed a one thousand nine hundred percent increase in anti-Asian hate crimes in New York City in 2020; and

 

WHEREAS, recent local and national incidents demonstrate continued anti-Asian sentiment including the Kauai Police Chief who was found to have created a hostile work environment for making remarks that mocked Asians; the killing of six women of Asian descent at their workplaces in Atlanta, Georgia; and brutal unprovoked attacks on elderly Asian-Americans in California; and

 

WHEREAS, the persistent discrimination, violence, and hate crimes against Asians in the United States are placing Asian individuals and their families, communities, and businesses at risk; and

 

WHEREAS, advancing inclusion and belonging for people of all races, national origins, and ethnicities is critical to the safety and security of the people of the United States; and

 

WHEREAS, rooted deeply in the culture of Hawaii is the "Aloha Spirit" that is codified in section 5-7.5(a), Hawaii Revised Statutes, as "the coordination of mind and heart within each person" that "brings each person to the self," under which "each person must think and emote good feelings to others"; and

 

WHEREAS, "Aloha" is "more than a word of greeting or farewell or a salutation", but means "mutual regard and affection and extends warmth in caring with no obligation in return" and constitutes "the essence of relationships in which each person is important to every other person for collective existence"; now, therefore,

 

BE IT RESOLVED by the Senate of the Thirty-first Legislature of the State of Hawaii, Regular Session of 2021, the House of Representatives concurring, that this body condemns and denounces all forms of anti-Asian sentiment and all acts of racism, xenophobia, intolerance, discrimination, hate crimes, and hate speech against Asian Americans and Asian individuals in the United States; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this body asserts the State's commitment to diversity, inclusiveness, equality, and compassion, in the spirit of Aloha to serve as a positive role model for not only the United States but also for the people of other nations, global alliances, and unions to ensure that all members of the Asian community, regardless of their background, spoken language, or religious beliefs, are treated with dignity and equity; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that State and county departments and agencies are urged to take all appropriate measures to ensure that official actions, documents, and statements, including those that pertain to the COVID-19 pandemic, do not exhibit or contribute to racism, xenophobia, intolerance, discrimination, or hate crimes against the Asian community; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission is requested to identify and analyze incidents based on anti-Asian sentiment that have occurred in Hawaii since March 2020, including incidents of racism, discrimination, hate crimes, and hate speech; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission is requested to submit a report of its findings and recommendations, including any proposed legislation and any other actions the Legislature could take to address and prevent actions based on anti-Asian sentiment, to the Legislature no later than forty days prior to the convening of the Regular Session of 2022; and

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that certified copies of this Concurrent Resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States; members of Hawaii's congressional delegation; Governor; Chairperson of the Hawaii Civil Rights Commission; Mayor of the County of Hawaii; Mayor of the City and County of Honolulu; Mayor of the County of Kauai; Mayor of the County of Maui; and Chairpersons of the county councils of Hawaii, Honolulu, Kauai, and Maui.

Report Title:

Covid-19 Pandemic; Asian Americans; Racism; Xenophobia; Hate Crimes; Aloha Spirit; Diversity; Inclusiveness; Equality; Hawaii Civil Rights Commission