Attorney General Tong Statement on Passage of Asian American Studies Legislation(Hartford, CT) – Attorney General William Tong tonight praised passage of state legislation requiring Asian American and Pacific Islander studies to be included in social study curriculum for Connecticut public schools.
“Anti-Asian hate and bias is not new. The surge in anti-Asian violence and bigotry right now has its roots in a long history that has been unaddressed and ignored for too long. Law enforcement cannot address this crisis alone if that history remains invisible. That’s why this legislation is so important. We need to teach the overlooked history of bias and hate—as well as the successes and contributions—of Asian Americans in this country. We need to teach the history of the Chinese Exclusion Act, the forced internment of 120,000 Japanese Americans on U.S. soil, the beating death of Vincent Chin in order to place that in context with the malicious pandemic scapegoating of Asian Americans and the violent attacks we see today. There is also a long history of Asian American accomplishment here in Connecticut that we should be proud to teach. Students should know about Meriden resident Joseph Pierce who fought in the Civil War as the highest ranked Chinese American in the Union Army. Students should know about Yale-graduate Yung Wing, who in 1854 became the first Chinese student ever to graduate from an American university. This vote is a proud moment and important opportunity for Connecticut, and I thank the legislators and advocates who championed this legislation,” said Attorney General Tong.