The nation is reeling from Atlanta-area shootings that killed eight people Tuesday, six of whom were women of Asian descent.
The House is scheduled to vote on the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act Wednesday.
It’s Mabinty with today’s politics news.
Before we dive in, I want to acknowledge that today’s news is overwhelming – for myself and I’m sure for you, too. As we learn more details, here are three perspectives to keep in mind:
- There’s been a rise in anti-Asian attacks. Here’s how to be an ally to the community.
- ‘Silence is complicity’: Daniel Dae Kim calls to #StopAsianHate after Atlanta-area shootings
- Atlanta spa shootings increase fear in Asian communities amid increase in violence, hate incidents
Lawmakers speak out against anti-Asian hate
President Joe Biden on Wednesday said he is waiting for more information about the Atlanta-area shootings before assigning a motive, but he called the deaths of Asian Americans “very, very troubling.”
“Whatever the motivation here, I know that Asian Americans are very concerned,” he said. “I’m making no connection at this moment to the motivation of the killer.”
Vice President Kamala Harris said, in a message to “our Asian American community,” that “we stand with you and understand how this has frightened and shocked and outraged all people.”
Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., the chairwoman of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, said the “crimes are beyond terrifying, but it just brings home to so many Asian Americans that they are fearful of their lives and circumstances” as they faced both the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise in hate incidents.
An anti-hate crime bill proposed by Chu and other lawmakers is likely to come up during a House hearing Thursday.
A ‘tough’ deadline on Afghanistan
Biden is under mounting pressure as he weighs whether to fully withdraw U.S. troops from Afghanistan by May 1, a deadline negotiated by the Trump administration. Some of Biden’s key allies in Congress are warning that a complete U.S. withdrawal will thrust Afghanistan further into chaos and violence.
In an interview on Tuesday, Biden said it would be “tough” to meet the May 1 deadline. “The fact is that, that was not a very solidly negotiated deal that (Trump) … worked out.”
The May 1 timetable is part of an agreement the Trump administration forged with the Taliban in February 2020. Under that deal, the U.S. agreed to withdraw all its forces; in exchange, the Taliban promised to sever its ties with al-Qaeda and end its attacks on American forces.
Many experts say the situation in Afghanistan will not improve no matter how much longer the United States stays, or how much more money Washington invests.
What else is going on today?
- Army denies medals, Special Forces insignia, to soldier Trump pardoned for alleged murder
- DHS chief Mayorkas avoids calling migrants at border a ‘crisis’ when pressed during House hearing
- House votes to revive Equal Rights Amendment for women despite legal questions
- Katherine Tai confirmed as Biden’s trade envoy, becoming the first Asian American person and woman of color to hold the position
When in doubt, be kind to one another. — Mabinty
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