Gov. Larry Hogan Friday announced the creation of a workgroup to help address the recent rise in hate crimes against Asian-Americans.
Hogan noted that the number of anti-Asian hate crimes in Maryland has “more than doubled” in the last three years and rose 150% nationwide in 2020.
“Today we are taking further action by announcing the creation of an Asian-American hate crimes workgroup which will be composed of a wide-ranging group of experts and advocates across various disciplines who will be tasked with developing strategies, recommendations, and additional actions that can be taken to address this rise in anti-Asian activity, to prevent acts of violence, and to support victims and witnesses, Hogan said at a news conference at the State House in Annapolis.
Hogan said the workgroup will be chaired by former U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert Hur. Hur, an Asian-American, who served as Maryland’s top federal prosecutor from April 2018 until February of this year, said the rise in anti-Asian attacks has caused him deep personal pain.
“The rise of hate-based incidents and crimes against Asian-Americans is particularly painful to me as I have dedicated much of my career to the service of our country. And I am now concerned for my parents’ safety and the safety of other members of my family on the basis of their physical appearance. And that is a fear that no one should have to have.”
Similar sentiments were echoed by both the governor and Korean-American First Lady Yumi Hogan about the safety of their family and friends. The first lady emigrated to the U.S. from South Korea more than four decades ago. She has three daughters from her first husband and has been married to Hogan since 2004. The couple’s daughters and many of their daughters’ friends have recently experienced anti-Asian hate and discrimination, the governor said.
MarylandReporter.com asked Hogan for specifics about what the new workgroup will do and Hogan turned the podium over to Hur. Hur said the workgroup is still in the early stages of development.
“What the governor has in mind and that I am looking forward to the undertaking, is an effort to solicit as many opinions and viewpoints and perspectives on this issue as possible. We are in the process of determining who is going to be on this particular workgroup. But we are eager to solicit a diverse array of viewpoints. And I view the task at hand to be thoughtful and invite input.”
Hur added: “Many people have suffered incidents of hate-based discrimination and violence. And those incidents go underreported. So we want to learn more about that. We want to hear views and perspectives. And in the end I know the governor is eager for us to develop a set of recommendations.”
The recent rise in anti-Asian attacks has received considerable national attention, with Congress holding hearings and President Joe Biden forcefully condemning the attacks.