April 22, 2021

Duckworth Delivers Remarks Following Senate’s Bipartisan Passage of the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act


[WASHINGTON, D.C.] — U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) spoke after the U.S. Senate passed the bipartisan COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and U.S. Senators Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) also spoke at the press conference. Video of the Senator’s remarks can be found here.

Duckworth’s full remarks as delivered are below:

“Thank you. Well about 3 weeks ago my mom came from the—my 80 year old mom came home from the grocery store visibly upset and I asked her what had happened and she had been harassed by the grocery store clerk who kept pushing her away as she was trying to buy some grapes.

“She was trying to pick out grapes she was told “go stand over here” so she moved over and they said “no go stand over there.

“And they just kept hassling her, and this happens all the time. And my mom finally confronted the grocery store clerk and said “listen, I’m just here to buy grapes for my granddaughter’s lunch, I’m not here to fight you, just let me buy the grapes.

“And this bill will allow me go home and tell my mom we did something about it. And this bill tells the AAPI community, who are seen as the other who are often asked “where are you from really?” And I’ve had that happen to me while wearing the uniform of this nation with her flag on my shoulder and asked “Where are you from really? Yeah, yeah your dad has been here since the revolution but where are you from?

“This tells the AAPI community: we see you, and we will stand with you, and we will protect you. There’s a lot more work to be done, this is a good first step. I want to thank everyone who voted for this bill and for Maize for taking the lead and Senator Blumenthal for working so hard with his excellent amendment and his work with Jerry Moran.

“I’m just so thankful to my Tri-Caucus colleges who have worked together on this issue and I urge all of my colleges today to go home and talk about this so all of the AAPIs in their communities know that they’re seen and they’re now protected as well. Thank you.