Anti-Asian racism and its implications for civil liberties and national security

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On May 21, 2020 at 12:00 PM EST, the Quincy Institute and Jewish Currents co-hosted a webinar on the rise of anti-Asian hate crimes in the United States and its implications for civil liberties and national security. The rise in Anti-Asian hate crimes related to COVID-19 pandemic is alarming from civil liberties and human rights perspectives. But the stigmatization of Asian Americans also arguably has a negative impact on U.S. national security. Anti-Asian bigotry coming from the very top of the U.S. government risks driving away the Americans the U.S. national security apparatus needs to navigate Asia’s rising strategic importance. Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus Chair Judy Chu offered introductory remarks, followed by a panel discussion featuring Gordon H. Chang, Professor of History at Stanford University; Peter Beinart, Editor-at-Large of Jewish Currents and Professor of Journalism and Political Science at the City University of New York; and Jessica Lee, Senior Research Fellow for East Asia at the Quincy Institute. Kaiser Kuo, co-founder and host of the Sinica Podcast, moderated the discussion.


Representative Judy Chu

Judy Chu was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in July 2009. She represents the 27th Congressional District, which includes Pasadena and the west San Gabriel Valley of southern California. Rep. Chu currently serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, and on the House Small Business Committee. Chu was first elected to the Board of Education for Garvey School District in 1985. From there, she was elected to the Monterey Park City Council, where she served as Mayor three times. In 2009, she became the first Chinese American woman elected to Congress in history.

Gordon H. Chang

Gordon H. Chang is a professor of history at Stanford University and Olive H. Palmer Professor in Humanities. His area of research and writing lies in the study of the history of American foreign relations, especially with Asia, and in Asian American history. His most recent books are "Fateful Ties: A History of America's Preoccupation with China" (2015) and" Ghosts of Gold Mountain: The Epic Story of the Chinese Who Built the Transcontinental Railroad" (2019).

Peter Beinart

Peter Beinart is Professor of Journalism and Political Science at the City University of New York and Editor-at-Large of Jewish Currents. He is also a Contributor to The Atlantic, a CNN Political Commentator and a Non-Resident Fellow at the Foundation for Middle East Peace. He is the author of three books and worked the New Republic from 1995-2006, where he ultimately became the magazine's Editor.

Jessica Lee

Jessica Lee's research focuses on the Korean Peninsula, Japan, and alliances and strategy in East Asia. Previously, Jessica led the Council of Korean Americans to advance the voice and influence of the Korean American community through civic engagement and leadership development. She was also a Resident Fellow at the Pacific Forum CSIS in Honolulu, and a senior manager at The Asia Group, LLC, a strategy and capital advisory firm. Jessica served as a staff member in the House of Representatives for six years.

Kaiser Kuo (Moderator)

Kaiser Kuo is a co-founder and host of the Sinica Podcast, the most popular English-language podcast on current affairs in China. Until April 2016, Kaiser served as director of international communications for Baidu, China’s leading search engine. Prior to that, he was editor-in-chief at, was China bureau chief for the technology and business magazine Red Herring, and co-founded the Chinese heavy metal band Tang Dynasty. In May 2016, he was honored by the Asia Society with a leadership award for “revolutionizing the way people live, consume, socially interact, and civically engage.” He speaks frequently on topics related to politics, international relations, and technology in China.