QUINCY, MASS. (WHDH) - President Biden took action Thursday to address the recent rise in anti-Asian hate crimes in the U.S. by signing a bill into law that creates a new position in the Justice Department to expedite reviews of potential hate crimes.

Here at home, Ron Mariano the speaker of the Massachusetts State House toured some Asian-owned businesses in Quincy to discuss the impacts of COVID-19 and the rise of racist attacks.

Quincy restaurant owner Bao Trinh spoke about how Asian businesses like his suffered during the past year because of the pandemic.

“A lot of people think Asians are all the same,” he said. “A lot of people, they don’t want to come because we are Asian. They think Asian is the virus, where it comes from China.”

Trinh and other business owners met with Mariano and state Rep. Tackey Chan as they toured Quincy to promote Shop AAPI Month –an initiative championed by the House Asian Caucus to encourage shopping at Asian American and Pacific Islander businesses.

“Get out there and please shop location and social media and promote places that you like. Please encourage people to use those services,” said Chan.

“We have to be aware of the fact that the Asian businesses were shut down first because of the fear of the pandemic,” said Speaker Mariano. “So, they took an unfair hit, and Tackey’s right, they’re a little slower to get back to normal.. and we have to call attention to that and try and fix that.”

The lawmakers are also promoting Asian success stories like the sprawling Kam Mann market that delivered food to countless families in need during the pandemic. And the Quincy dentist who created an online directory for emergency dental care when most dentists were shut down because of COVID.

“For us, we saw emergencies, for people who had nowhere to go. We collaborated out hospitals to try to provide care,” said Dr. Abe Abdulwaheed of Lux Dental Care.

Representative Chan said the House Asian Caucus will use the Shop AAPI Month initiative as a jumping-off point to continue speaking out against Asian hate and systemic racism.

 

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