NBC News: Anti-Asian attacks prompt call for updated hate crimes law
A national spike in anti-Asian hate crimes — including a recent mass shooting in Atlanta that left eight people dead, six of them women of Asian descent — is prompting state lawmakers to push a bill they say would expand and clarify hate crime laws in Massachusetts.
Among other steps the bill would combine the state’s two existing hate crimes laws and add gender and immigration status as protected classes when determining if a hate crime has been committed.
One of the co-sponsors of the bill, state Rep. Tram Nguyen, said during a legislative panel Wednesday that the Atlanta killings brought to the national consciousness the racial bias many Asian Americans experience.
“The rise in anti-Asian hate incidents did not come out of nowhere. There has been a long and troubling history of racism and discrimination,” said Nguyen, a Democrat and the first Vietnamese American elected to the Massachusetts House.
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