President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris visited Atlanta, Georgia this week following a mass shooting in the state that left eight people dead, including six Asian women, Fox News reported.
During their remarks, the pair implied that rhetoric from former President Donald Trump and other Republicans is behind the violence against Asian Americans. However, there are no federal crime statistics to support that claim.
“For the last year, we’ve had people in incredible positions of power scapegoating Asian Americans,” Harris said Friday, according to Fox. “People with the biggest pulpits spreading this kind of hate.”
“Ultimately, this is about who we are as a nation,” the vice president continued. “This is about how we treat people with dignity and respect.”
Biden sounded a similar note, declaring, “We’re learning what we’ve always known: Words have consequences.” He added, “It’s the coronavirus, full stop. Hate and violence often hide in plain sight, it’s often met with silence.”
He continued, “Whatever the motivation we know this: too many Asian Americans are walking up and down the streets worrying … feeling their safety is at stake.”
The president claimed that people of Asian descent have spent a “year of living in fear for their lives, just to walk down the street.”
No statistical evidence
Those comments aren’t unique to Harris and Biden, as many on the left have claimed that Donald Trump accurately pointing out that COVID-19 originated in China incites hatred for Asian people.
“I think there’s no question that some of the damaging rhetoric that we saw during the prior administration — calling COVID the ‘Wuhan virus’ or other things — led to perceptions of the Asian American community that are inaccurate, unfair,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday, according to The Hill.
Psaki claimed that such rhetoric has resulted in “elevated threats against Asian Americans, and we’re seeing that around the country.”
However, there is no statistical evidence that links Trump’s comments on the coronavirus with violence against Asian Americans.
During his podcast on Friday, conservative commentator Ben Shapiro pointed out that the 2018 National Crime Victimization Survey from the Bureau of Justice Statistics showed that the largest share of anti-Asian violence was committed by African American offenders. Meanwhile, polling conducted by Pew Research shows that African Americans are the group who are least likely to support Republicans.