OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The Oklahoma House of Representatives passed a resolution Tuesday condemning violence and hateful rhetoric against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.
The resolution, written by Rep. Cyndi Munson, D-Oklahoma City, acknowledges the history of racism against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders within communities, including the recent deadly spa shootings in Atlanta, Ga., in which eight people were killed, including six Asian women, according to a State House news release.
The resolution also condemns the rhetoric that often leads to hate crimes. The resolution points out that such rhetoric has increased since the COVID pandemic began.
“This resolution is important to all of us but especially children who are growing up right now,” Munson said. “As a governing body, we are taking a stand against those who wish to disparage or harm Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. With this resolution, we are telling the AAPI community—especially our AAPI children—that they are seen, valued, loved, and that nobody has a right to take away their safety or self-worth.”
Munson is the first Asian American woman elected to the Oklahoma Legislature. Rep. Daniel Pae, R-Lawton, co-wrote the resolution.
“The heartbreaking shootings in Atlanta reflect a long list of violent crimes and discrimination against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community since the COVID-19 pandemic began one year ago,” Pae said. “Incendiary rhetoric, xenophobic resentment, and scapegoating have led us to today.
“We must acknowledge and condemn racist rhetoric and actions. We can’t become desensitized to tragedies like what happened in Atlanta, nor should we give in to us-versus-them factionalism. We need to listen and learn from one another because more empathy leads to a better society.”
Rep. Andy Fugate, who is one of three Asian Americans serving in the Oklahoma House, echoed his colleagues thoughts on the resolution.
“I’m proud to stand as an Asian American with all my colleagues in the House against hate and violence,” Fugate said. “We cannot be top ten until we learn to love our neighbors as much as we love ourselves.”
The resolution was praised beyond the State Capitol.
“I feel that passing this resolution is a step in the right direction for us,” said Thuan H. Nguyen, the president of the Asian District Cultural Association. “I hope with this resolution we all can rise together and stand as one.”