Commonwealth Policy Center

Crimes targeted specifically against Asians are on the rise, likely due to many associating COVID-19 with those of Asian descent. In response, Congress passed a law giving the Department of Justice the ability to expedite “hate crime” cases associated with COVID-19, and to provide local law enforcement agencies with resources to aid in fighting hate crimes. But of course, every violent crime is  hateful. So why is specific hate-crimes designation of involving racial minorities necessary? The intentions to protect our Asian friends and neighbors is good, but the unintended effect is that such classifications in the law further divide us instead of seeing Americans of all ethnicities possessing equal dignity deserving equal protection under the law regardless of what motivates a hateful act.