Las Vegas, Nevada 2021-05-21 02:20:14 –
Las Vegas (KLAS) — President Joe Biden signed a new bill on Thursday aimed at fighting hate crimes against Asian Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I was followed. I spit. I was called a lot of slurs,” said Ava Carino, a student at UNLV.
When the coronavirus began to spread to the United States last year, Carino says someone attacked her just because she was Asian.
“It made me feel uneasy,” she shared.
Carino is a Filipino-American and says she has never experienced such racism or discrimination in her life. But since that encounter last year, she has seen a wave of hate crimes against Asians across the country.
“Another Asian-American was attacked or killed on the street, heard it from his grandparents, heard it in the news, it’s like when it stops,” Carino said.
Biden’s COVID-19 Hate Climb Act aims to speed up hate crime reviews, facilitate reporting, and expand public education campaigns.
“I think we’re heading in the right direction,” Carino said in response to the new steps.
Leaders in the Asian community in Las Vegas say they are currently working to get an accurate picture of what the law really looks like.
Sonny Vinuya, Chairman of the Las Vegas Asian Chamber of Commerce and a member of the AAPI Community Committee in Clark County, said: “For example, we talked about hotlines. Maybe we talked about counseling. We talked about education. So all of this is taken into account, but you need to make a good plan.”
Carino is cautiously optimistic.
“Even if this bill is signed, we still have a long way to go,” she said.
Carino adds that it will be important for Las Vegas and communities across the country to talk about the racism that Asian Americans endure.