Assemblymember Jonathan Jacobson (D-Newburgh), Senator James Skoufis (D-Hudson Valley), alongside Senator John Liu (D-Queens), and other officials rallied outside Jacobson and Skoufis’ joint Newburgh office in support of the Asian American community. Beacon City School Board member Antony Tseng, Beacon resident Christine Wang, and Kangjian Wu, President of the Orange County Chinese Association also spoke.
In light of recent disturbing attacks on Asian Americans and the surge in targeted violence against Asian-owned businesses, lawmakers and the community denounced this egregious behavior and made it clear that it has no place in the Hudson Valley, or anywhere else.
Hate crimes against Asian Americans have skyrocketed over the past year. A report recently released by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism revealed that Anti-Asian hate crimes increased nationally by nearly 150% in 2020 despite total, overall hate crimes dropping by 7% during that same time.
Assemblymember Jacobson said, “Over the past year, we have seen a sharp uptick in crimes against Asian Americans. This is not a coincidence. It is a result of hateful and discriminatory rhetoric and it must stop. Tragically, it took the shooting rampage in Atlanta for the rest of America to finally pay attention to what the AAPI community has been enduring. Let me be blunt. Hate crimes have no place in Atlanta, the Hudson Valley, New York State or anywhere in America.”
“I stand in complete solidarity with the Asian American community,” said Senator Skoufis. “I’m calling on our neighbors across the district to not only strongly denounce any anti-Asian discrimination they see but also show our Asian American neighbors and business owners extra support during this time. We can all do better and must work to put an end to this disturbing and unacceptable reality.”
Senator John Liu said, "In this past year of global pandemic, the Asian American community has faced a secondary virus, that of hate and bigotry. The shooting spree in Atlanta was heinous and horrific, and I hope and pray that that becomes the culmination of the onslaught of anti-Asian bias and hate. As Asian Americans all across the state of New York struggle with pain and hardship, we are thankful that Senator Skoufis and Assemblymember Jacobson have convened this gathering and continue to work hand-in-hand with community leaders."
Antony Tseng, a member of the Beacon City School Board, said “In an immigrant family, living with struggle and avoiding conflict was preferred. However, I learned that avoiding conflict was the wrong decision. We must support each other to stand against racism which has no place in our community.”
Kangjian Wu, President of the Orange County Chinese Association, said “We are seeing escalated violence and racist-motivated murders toward our community in the United States. We must come together to put an end to this and all speak up whenever we see it occurring.”
Christine Wang, a Beacon resident said, “The tragic recent events have triggered memories of being spat on when walking down Main Street in Beacon. This should not happen here or anywhere – to me, or to anyone. Asian women are hyper anxious right now because of the violence toward us and the time to speak up for them is now. I’m asking for us to be recognized and for our communities to take action.”