Maui News

Hawaiʻi Senate Committee Passes Resolutions Denouncing Racism Acts against Asian-Americans

March 18, 2021, 2:03 PM HST
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Hawaiʻi State Sen. Bennette E. Misalucha

The Hawaiʻi State Senate Committee on Judiciary unanimously passed two resolutions today in response to the recent acts of racism against Asian-Americans.

District 16 Sen. Bennette E. Misalucha introduced resolutions SCR66 and SR48 that condemn and denounce all forms of anti-Asian sentiment and all acts of racism, xenophobia, intolerance, discrimination, hate crime and hate speech against Asian Americans and Asian individuals in the United States.

The measures were amended in committee to include:

  • An additional “whereas clause” about recent incidents of anti-Asian sentiment including the remarks by Kauaʻi Police Chief, the killing of six women of Asian descent in Atlanta, GA, and the recent attacks of Asian-American senior citizens in California.
  • An additional “Be It Further Resolved clause” requesting the Hawaiʻi Civil Rights Commission to collect and analyze incidents of anti-Asian sentiment that have occurred since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020; report back to the Hawaiʻi State Legislature on their findings; and to make recommendations for potential legislative action.

“The recent acts of violence and racism against Asian-Americans are unacceptable and they truly undermine our values as a country,” said District 13 Sen. Karl Rhoads, chair of the Senate Committee on Judiciary. “We are a nation of diversity and equality and these hate crimes have no place in our society.

Sen. Misalucha said: “Our communities here in Hawaiʻi serve as an example to the rest of the nation of what inclusivity and acceptance look like, regardless of your gender, age, race, ethnicity, religion and sexual orientation. It’s important for us to stand in solidarity with our Asian American Pacific Islander community during these difficult times and I want to thank Chairman Rhoads and the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee for passing these two important measures.”

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Both measures are headed to the Senate floor for final consideration by the full Senate. 

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