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Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Catholics must do more to reject anti-Asian discrimination, violence

Editorial: Catholics must do more to reject anti-Asian discrimination, violence

In 2001, the U.S. bishops' conference's Committee on Migration published "Asian and Pacific Presence: Harmony in Faith." The pastoral statement acknowledged how the lived experiences and contributions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) have "remained, until very recently, nearly invisible in the Church in the United States." 

Twenty years later, the violence and erasure of the AAPI continue, NCR states in our latest editorial. 

President Joe Biden has announced new directives to address the rise in violence against the Asian American community, which are welcome and "critical to keep our Asian sisters and brothers safe following a year that saw several media and political figures deploying racist rhetoric against Asian Americans," NCR writes. We point out that President Donald Trump described the pandemic as a "Chinese virus," most likely contributing to the rise in hate crimes against the AAPI community, which increased 150% from 2019 to 2020. 

"We must no longer ignore the long and often forgotten racialized trauma experienced by citizens of Asian descent throughout American history," we write. "We must learn to center and uplift the Asian experience, from our Catholic schools to our parishes to our media."

You can read more of the editorial here.

More background:


Environmental groups mobilize to make sure 'build back better' isn't just a slogan for Biden

As the Biden administration begins selling the president's $2 trillion infrastructure plan, environmental groups are mounting campaigns to make sure his "build back better" pledge doesn't remain merely a slogan.

President Joe Biden unveiled his American Jobs Plan on March 31. It proposes spending $2 trillion over eight years to upgrade the nation's roads and highways, transition the energy grid to 100% clean energy by 2035, retrofit millions of buildings and homes to be more energy efficient, and revitalize the economy through the creation of millions of new jobs.

A day after the ambitious plan was made public, environmental groups began mobilizing to support it, but also to hold the president to his campaign pledge to rebuild U.S. infrastructure post-COVID in more just, equitable and sustainable ways. The effort, they say, must simultaneously address climate change and provide access to jobs and economic opportunities in all communities.

The #ACTNow coalition, made up of a dozen environmental organizations, has launched campaigns to reach out to legislators and coordinate grassroots efforts to educate their communities about the plan and what it means for climate change.

You can read more at EarthBeat here.

More background:

  • In three sweeping executive actions signed in January, President Joe Biden set in motion his ambitious climate agenda, directing the federal government to freeze new public oil and natural gas leases, make climate a national security priority and embed environmental justice throughout the executive branch.

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