Wednesday the Senate opened debate on legislation confronting the rise of potential hate crimes. The legislation is what supporters see as a first step in a federal response.
It would assign a point person within the Justice Department to expedite the review of COVID-19-related hate crimes and provide support for local law enforcement to respond to such incidents. The department would also work to limit discriminatory language used to describe the pandemic.
Among those speaking out is decorated gymnast and activist Morgan Hurd. She’s also a Chinese-American adoptee.
While she says her experience is different because she’s adopted, she stated she’s experienced some of the same racism seen in recent viral incidents.
“Getting called ‘ching chong,’ ‘ling ling,’ getting told ‘to go back to China,’ getting mimicked for my small eyes,” said Hurd.
She added that the experiences have continued even in recent times.
“I’ve been yelled at for being Chinese while walking down the street, and in the grocery store I get really weird looks sometimes and parents pulling their kids further away from me even though I’m maintaining the six feet distance,” said Hurd.
She emphasized that there is importance in the power of numbers, which is why she’s raising her voice about the issue.
“I have been blessed with a very large platform and I don’t intend for it to go to waste. And I also believe silence is compliance,” stated Hurd.
Hurd says these attacks “need to be called out for what they [are]. These attacks are racially motivated. There’s no beating around the bush.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.