All 23 Democratic governors signed a letter condemning anti-Asian hate. Two Republicans joined them.

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All 23 Democratic governors signed a letter condemning anti-Asian hate. Two Republicans joined them.
Lucy Lee, of Marietta, Ga., holds an American flag while rallying outside of the Georgia State Capitol in Atlanta during a unity "Stop Asian Hate" rally Saturday afternoon, March 20, 2021.AP Photo/Ben Gray
  • A bipartisan group of governors and former officials released letters denouncing anti-Asian bias Friday.
  • All 23 Democratic governors, the governor of Guam, and two Republican governors signed one letter.
  • More than 60 former officials who served the past six presidents signed another.

In a show of solidarity, 26 governors and more than 60 former officials denounced violence toward Asian Americans in a pair of bipartisan statements Friday.

Hate incidents against Asian Americans have skyrocketed in the last year in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic and calls to condemn anti-Asian hate have been building since the Atlanta-area spa shootings that left eight dead, including six Asian women.

All 23 Democratic governors and the governor of Guam signed on to a letter released Friday in solidarity with and support of the Asian American Pacific Islander community. Only two Republican governors - Govs. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Larry Hogan of Maryland - out of 27 joined them

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"Today, and every day, we stand in solidarity, in support, and in shared resolve with the Asian American community," the letter said. "Hate will not divide our states, territories, and communities. We condemn all expressions of racism, xenophobia, scapegoating, and anti-Asian sentiment."

The letter acknowledges America's racist past, saying this year will go down in history along with the Chinese Exclusion Act, Japanese internment, and the mistreatment of Muslims and Sikhs after 9/11.

"What is happening to Asian Americans is simply un-American. We condemn racism, violence, and hatred against our AAPI communities, and we must do more to protect, lift up, and support" the community, the letter said.

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More than 60 Republicans and Democrats who have previously served as Cabinet secretaries, senior White House officials, and congressional chiefs of staff for the past six presidents signed a separate statement urging the Biden administration and Congress to protect the Asian American community.

The signatories include Elaine Chao, labor secretary under George W. Bush and transportation secretary under Donald Trump; Gary Locke, commerce secretary under Barack Obama; and Norman Mineta, transportation secretary under Bush and commerce secretary under Bill Clinton.

The release of the letters coincided with Stop AAPI Hate's virtual day of action.

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Stop AAPI Hate is a community advocacy group launched last year to track the number of hate incidents against Asian Americans following the onset of COVID-19. The group has tracked more than 3,800 self-reported incidents of anti-Asian bias since the pandemic started.

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