Connecticut AG on anti-Asian violence: 'If it happens to me, it must happen a lot to everyday people'

Connecticut AG on anti-Asian violence: 'If it happens to me, it must happen a lot to everyday people'
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Connecticut Attorney General William Tong (D) weighed in Thursday on the national discussion about violence against Asian Americans, saying he's faced discrimination himself but that it must be far worse for others.

Tong, the son of Chinese immigrants, spoke to CNN about his experiences amid a rise in violence and prejudice against the Asian American community.

“It happens to me, it happens all the time. I’ve been called the Manchurian AG; my name has been mocked. And just yesterday, someone accused me of being an agent of the Chinese Communist Party. I was born in Hartford, Conn.,” Tong said.

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“But I’m the attorney general, I can take it. If it happens to me, it must happen a lot to everyday people who aren’t attorneys general, who don’t have the same protections and public profile that I do,” he continued. “And, I worry about families across Connecticut and across this country.”

Documented acts of hate against the Asian American community have risen substantially amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The conversation gained renewed momentum after this week's shooting spree in Atlanta, which left six Asian American women dead.

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Stop AAPI Hate, a group that tracks violence against the Asian American Community, said in a report this week that it has received nearly 3,800 reports of some form of discrimination against Asian Americans from March 19, 2020, through Feb. 28, 2021.

Verbal harassment and shunning made up the largest portions of the incidents at 68.1 percent and 20.5 percent, respectively.

Tong said that politicians including former President TrumpDonald TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - White House, Dems play blame game over evictions The Memo: Left pins hopes on Nina Turner in Ohio after recent defeats Biden administration to keep Trump-era rule of turning away migrants during pandemic MORE are to blame for the rise in anti-Asian hate due to their language around the coronavirus pandemic.

“I lay the blame at the feet of politicians like President Trump. When he started his war on American immigrants, that was really bad and it started to get bad,” Tong said. “But when he blamed Asian-Pacific Americans, particularly Chinese Americans, for the coronavirus and called it the 'China virus' or the 'kung flu,' that made all of us unsafe.”