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San Gabriel Congressmember Judy Chu Calls On President Biden To Address Anti-Asian Hate In State Of The Union

A crowd of hundreds amasses in front of an old Spanish mission for a vigil. People are holding candles and you can see signs that read "United We Stand" and "Fight Against Hatred."
Vigils were held in San Gabriel after the March 2021 Atlanta shooting that left six women of Asian descent among those killed.
(Josie Huang
/
LAist)
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San Gabriel Valley Congressmember Judy Chu has invited the daughter of a Thai immigrant — who was killed in an attack last year — to be her guest at President Joe Biden's State of the Union address Tuesday night.

Both are calling on Biden to acknowledge anti-Asian hate in his speech.

Vicha Ratanapakdee took a walk in San Francisco last January when a young man violently plowed into him, pushing Ratanapakdee to the ground. He ended up in the ICU.

His daughter Monthanus says she prayed for him to wake up, but her father died two days later at the age of 84.

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"He did not deserve to die the way he did, and I miss him every day," she said.

Surveillance video captured the attack and became a rallying cry against anti-Asian hate. One year later, "President Biden has a chance to educate Americans about these experiences," said Monthanus Ratanapakdee.

"We must change the culture that allow[s] Asian[s] to be disrespected every day at work on the street," she said. "The culture that allows them to be pushed [down] on a walk in their neighborhood or on a subway in New York City. I want my father's [death] not to be in vain."

Ratanapakdee said her dad would want to be remembered as a "lovely family man." She hopes his memory can improve the lives and safety of Asians across the country.

To counteract anti-Asian sentiments in the U.S., Congressmember Chu said Congress must fully fund the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act, which President Biden signed into law in May 2021.

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"We must continue to speak out against anti-Asian hate and xenophobia in all forms," she said.

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