NBC News reports that on Thursday, the Senate passed a bill that makes moderate moves to help law enforcement and communities tackle this issue. The Senate approved the legislation 94-1, with Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo. as the single opposing member.
The bill was led by Sen. Mazie Hirono, D-Hawaii, which will guide the Department of Justice to “expedite the review of hate crimes related to Covid-19 that were reported to law enforcement agencies and help them establish ways to report such incidents online and perform public outreach,” NBC writes.
Additionally, the measure will ask the attorney general and the Department of Health and Human Services to create guidelines on how to not use racist language when referencing COVID-19.
“Racism has always existed in America unfortunately and the legacy of anti-Asian sentiment goes back centuries to dark chapters in our history,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said before the vote on Thursday.
“Now, we’ve made great strides since those days, but over the past several years the forces of hate and bigotry seem to have gained strength, too often encouraged by our former president,” he continued. “By passing this bill, the senate makes it very clear that hate and discrimination against any group has no place in America. Bigotry against one is bigotry against all.”
Hirono brought the bill to the Senate after the fatal shooting of eight people in Atlanta in March, six of whom were Asian women.