Anti-Asian hate is still simmering. California can do more to stop it

Last month, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill barring Chinese nationals, along with those from six other countries, from buying land in the state. Similar laws have advanced in other states despite the fact that so-called “alien land laws” — which were used in more than a dozen U.S. states to prevent Asian immigrants from settling in white communities by limiting their ability to purchase property — were deemed unconstitutional more than 70 years ago by the U.S. Supreme Court.  

As Asian Americans, watching the rising tide of discrimination and racism toward Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs), we’ve never been more grateful to live in California. While DeSantis responds to the anti-AAPI hate by bringing back laws historically used against us, Gov. Gavin Newsom does the opposite. In 2021, as the nation reeled from a mass shooting at Atlanta-area spas that killed eight — including six Asian American women — Gov. Newsom and our Legislature stood up for Californians’ safety by passing the nation’s first Asian and Pacific Islander Equity Budget

The API Equity Budget’s three-year, $166.5 million allocation sent a clear message that California is committed to protecting its 6 million AAPI residents and being a national leader in fighting against hate. 

But to realize the full potential of the API Equity Budget, we need to maintain it. With the current funding for the API Equity Budget coming to an end, Gov. Newsom and the Legislature must ensure its continuing strength as they set the 2023-24 state budget next week.

Since it was passed, the API Equity Budget has been a powerful tool against hate, helping fight the surge in anti-AAPI hate and addressing longstanding racial inequities. It supported the launch of California’s first anti-hate hotline, funded services to prevent hate and support victims of hate, enabled anti-bias trainings and restorative justice programs, and worked to improve educational attainment for AAPI students.

Read more at SF Chronicle