For Immediate Release

February 3, 2021

The Korean American Bar Association of Washington DC (KABA-DC) applauds President Joe Biden’s January 26, 2021 “Memorandum Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States,” which includes, inter alia:

  1. An earnest acknowledgement of the pain, harm, and risk that the Asian American communities, including the Korean American community, have suffered during the COVID-19 pandemic, and
  2. A pledge to ensure members of the Asian American communities are treated with dignity and equity by combating racism, xenophobia, and intolerance.

The Memorandum acknowledges that Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have made our Nation more secure during the COVID-19 pandemic and throughout our history as an estimated 2 million Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have served on the front lines of this crisis as healthcare providers, as first responders, and in other essential roles.  The Memorandum further recognizes that advancing inclusion of Asian Americans is critical to the safety and security of the American People.

Asian Americans have faced hate and discrimination for much of the past year as they were wrongfully blamed for the coronavirus pandemic.  Asian Americans, including Korean Americans, were subject to random acts of violence against their persons and businesses.  Even Asian American medical workers, at the frontlines of combating the pandemic, were subject to harassment.  Although the statement from the White House came much later than we would have hoped for, KABA-DC commends the forthright acknowledgement that “[t]he Federal Government must recognize that it has played a role in furthering these xenophobic sentiments through the actions of political leaders, including references to the COVID-19 pandemic by the geographic location of its origin.”  KABA-DC urges all to follow the example set by President Biden’s statement and take a stance against racism and xenophobia.