BIDEN, HARRIS SLAM RACISM VS ASIAN AMERICANS DURING ATLANTA VISIT
President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris offered solace to Asian Americans and denounced the scourge of racism at times hidden “in plain sight” as they visited Atlanta, just days after a white gunman killed eight people, most of them Asian American women, Jonathan Lemire, Jeff Amy and Zeke Miller reported for the Associated Press (AP).
Addressing the nation after a roughly 80-minute meeting with Asian American state legislators and other leaders Friday, Biden said it was “heart-wrenching” to listen to their stories of the fear among Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders amid what he called a “skyrocketing spike” of harassment and violence against them.
“We have to change our hearts,” he said. “Hate can have no safe harbor in America.” Biden called on all Americans to stand up to bigotry when they see it, adding: “Our silence is complicity. We cannot be complicit.”
“They’ve been attacked, blamed, scapegoated and harassed; they’ve been verbally assaulted, physically assaulted, killed,” Biden said of Asian Americans during the coronavirus pandemic.
As he boarded Air Force One on Friday morning, Biden, who was wearing a mask, stumbled several times up the stairs to the aircraft, before saluting the military officer who greeted him on the tarmac.
White House principal deputy press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Biden was “doing 100% fine.”