Transcript of Speaker Pelosi’s Remarks at Tri-Caucus Press Conference on Spike in Anti-Asian Hate Crimes

February 19, 2021
Press Release

Washington, D.C. – Speaker Nancy Pelosi joined Members of the Congressional Tri-Caucus for a press conference denouncing the recent the spike in anti-Asian hate crimes and violence.  Below are the Speaker’s remarks:

Speaker Pelosi.  Thank you very much, Madam Chair.  As a Californian and as Speaker, I'm very proud of you and the work that you have been doing, relentlessly, on this score for a long time now, especially the last four years where this has become such a blot on our country. 

The – I thank you for referencing the President's Executive Order of January 26th.  And I just want to read from it for a moment, because, as you said, you're going to the Justice Department, ‘The Attorney General’ – according to the Executive Order – ‘the Attorney General shall explore opportunities to support, consistent with [applicable law], the efforts of State and local agencies, as well as AAPI communities and community-based organizations to prevent discrimination, bullying, harassment and hate crimes against AAPI individual and to expand a collection of data and public reporting regarding hate incidences against such individuals.’

I read that for a couple reasons.  First of all, I'm glad that they're connecting with the community-based organizations in the AAPI community, but also, we have to inform people about how to report a crime.  There's a – I know Grace Meng will probably speak to this – in New York, a man just pushed a woman in her 50s – they describe her as old; I described her as young – pushed a woman, an Asian American woman, and – Olivia Munn, she put out the word and other celebrities put out the word on social media.  The New York Police – she gave them credit – found him very soon, but they didn't know whether it was a hate crime.  So, what we need to do is for people to be sensitive at the time to take down the words, to take down the words because that is the difference between just bullying and harassment – and that would be horrible enough – and a hate crime is: we want to document the hate crimes.

Islamophobia is different.  It's also another part of the Asian Pacific assault.  So, I'm so glad and join you in commending the entire Tri-Caucus, and I see Barbara Lee representing the Congressional Black Caucus and so many other things she represents.  And Mr. Gomez representing the Hispanic Caucus because this is a joint effort.  White supremacy is the biggest bucket of concern when it comes to domestic terrorism.  So, this issue is specific to these individuals and how we want to help them, but it's also part of a bigger picture.  And that – don't take that from me.  That's what the director of the FBI said in September when he was describing what are the challenges in terms of domestic terrorists, the biggest bucket: white supremacy and anti – the – everything that is involved there that you address match up.

I just want to say, as a San Francisco Representative, how proud we are of our community and the entire Bay Area.  Right, Barbara?  The – our mayor, Mayor Breed, has taken every occasion to speak out against this anti-Asian – as recently as this weekend, a rally in front of City Hall as we celebrate the Lunar New Year, a source of joy, it's also a source of pain for us this time because of all of these incidences.

So, I'm proud, locally, of our Mayor.  I'm proud of our President for what he is doing and the priority he made it very early in his Administration.  And I'm also proud of our House Democrats and our Tri-Caucus led by you, Madam Chair.  You have been relentless in all of this.  I see Mr. Takano.  He has joined you in that relentlessness.  Mr. Lieu, Mr. Kim, Grace Meng, thank you for acknowledging her important legislation.  

So, we're very blessed in our Caucus with the beautiful diversity.  I always say our diversity is our strength, our unity is our power.  And we have unity on this subject.  So, thank you for the opportunity to salute you and this President, to call attention to something that must be stopped.  And it's starting at the top with our new President, changing course on this subject and being supported by all of you in the Congress.  

Thank you.  Thank you to you, too, Madam Chair.