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Vice President Kamala Harris at a press conference. Photo: Carlos Barria, Reuters.
Vice President Kamala Harris at a press conference. Photo: Carlos Barria/Reuters.

Kamala Harris says xenophobia and sexism remain latent in the U.S.

After the attack on the Asian-American community, the vice president visited Atlanta and reported xenophobia and sexism as a real problem in the United States.

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Last Friday, Vice President Kamala Harris visited Atlanta following the attack on three Asian massage parlors that left 8 dead, including 6 women of Asian descent.... "Racism is real, in America, and always has been. Sexism, too," said Vice President Harris, who was accompanying President Joe Biden to meet with public officials and leaders of the Asian community in the southern city.

Although early news reports denounced this attack as part of a growing wave of hate crimes against people of Asian descent, the suspect said he "blamed" these establishments for keeping his sex addiction active and that his intention was to "remove the temptation." This statement has not been fully acknowledged by the public.

While the perpetrator of the shooting has confessed, political leaders and media have not entered into a debate about the underlying problem for this particular case: racism and gender-based violence.  

In his remarks, Harris recalled that the Asian community has historically suffered from discrimination in the United States and has also been heavily targeted over the past year: "People with the biggest podiums spreading this kind of hate."

President Biden also recalled that violence against Asian Americans has risen sharply since the pandemic began. "They have been attacked, blamed, scapegoated and harassed," said the President, who remarked that "Hate and violence are often hidden in plain sight. They are often met with silence, but that has to change, because our silence is complicity. We cannot be complicit, we have to act". 

The original purpose of the leaders' visit to Atlanta was to report on the merits of the $1.9 trillion rescue plan in the face of the economic devastation resulting from the pandemic. "While this is a time for optimism, it is not a time to relax," Biden said, urging all Americans to get vaccinated as soon as they can to be prepared for new variants of the virus.

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