U of M Professor Testifies During Hearing on Anti-Asian ViolenceHistorians in the News
tags: Congress, Asian American History
For the first time in more than 30 years, Congress held a hearing on discrimination and violence against Asian Americans.
Thursday's hearing was scheduled prior to the Atlanta-area mass shooting that left eight people dead, including six women of Asian descent. But it comes during the pandemic, when hate incidents against Asian American and Pacific Islanders have been prevalent in communities across the United States.
The House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties held the hearing on Thursday morning which included testimony from a University of Minnesota professor.
"My students are traumatized. Our communities are traumatized. What this brings up is lifetimes, family histories of trauma," said Erika Lee, a UMN regents professor of History and Asian American studies and director of the Immigration History Research Center.
Lee touched on a lengthy history of targeted attacks against AAPIs.
"We've heard in the past 24 hours many describe anti-Asian discrimination and racial violence as un-American. Unfortunately, it is very American," Lee said.
Lee went on to give a long list of examples in American history, including the Chinese massacre of 1871.
"17 Chinese were lynched by a mob of 500 in Los Angeles. This was the largest mass lynching in U.S. history," Lee explained.
Lee also talked about the Japanese-American internment camps that were established during World War II by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
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