Asian Americans facing renewed discrimination, according to Utah lawmaker

Mar 11, 2021, 10:29 AM | Updated: 10:36 am
asian americans face discrimination in utah, according to representative karen kwan, pictured here...
FILE: Representative Karen Kwan and Representative Jefferson Moss speak during a committee hearing at the Utah State Capitol. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — A Utah lawmaker says Asian Americans continue to face racially-motivated harassment stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Utah lawmaker says Asian Americans face harassment 

State Rep. Karen Kwan, D-Murray, believes the fast growing Asian American communities in Utah already faces renewed discrimination.

She tells the Deseret News that although police have not confirmed any racially-motivated violence, she has heard plenty of troubling anecdotes and stories about harassment since COVID-19 reached the state.

“It is very much an issue of concern, and our communities are on alert to combat it,” she said.

Even if coincidental, the numbers appear to support a case that reported discrimination is leading to increased violence.

Utah Department of Public Safety data shows violent crimes rose slightly against Asian and Pacific Islanders in Utah in 2020. Specifically, the reports increased from 802 in 2019 to 846 in 2020.

Salt Lake DA calls for better education

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill Utah needs change. He calls for greater education about the state’s strengthened hate crimes law that passed in 2019.

“A lot of the stuff that goes on is borne by these communities and never really reported,” he said. “Someone comes into your shop and makes a snide remark at you while you’re running the shop, but you kind of brush that off as the price of doing business.”

Gill immigrated to the U.S. with his family as a child. He became the nation’s only Indian-born district attorney when he took office 10 years ago.

“As an immigrant, I could tell you I’ve endured discrimination and been subjected to racist and discriminatory statements, but so would every other immigrant who’s similarly situated,” Gill said.

Kwan and others say they’re paying close attention to last week’s shooting death in Ogden of 65-year-old Satnam Singh, who was originally from India. 

Today’s Top Stories


Erin mendenhall and two men are pictured at a podium speaking about crime statistics in salt lake...
Samantha Herrera

Project Safe Neighborhoods successfully lowering crime according to Salt Lake leaders

Crime in Salt Lake City has been the focus of Project Safe Neighborhoods for the past two years. Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall praised the project.
12 hours ago
Layton Police Department...
Mark Jones

Suspect in Wednesday’s I-15 shooting is named, booked into jail

The suspect involved in Wednesday's officer-involved shooting on southbound I-15 has been identified as 28-year-old Michael John Buttel.
2 days ago
UTA confrontation...
Mark Jones

Confrontation with bicyclist sends UTA bus driver to hospital

UTA officials say a confrontation between a bicyclist and a UTA bus driver resulted in the bus driver suffering a broken hip and being hospitalized.
2 days ago
U of U police captain Brian Lohrke is pictured talking about the hidden cameras found at the U...
Adam Small

U of U community reacts to discovery of hidden cameras in campus bathrooms

U of U students are reeling after learning about the hidden cameras found in two bathrooms at the school's Student Life Center.
2 days ago
An 18-year-old man has turned himself into police in connection with a shooting in Orem at the Axis...
Allie Litzinger and Samantha Herrera

18-year-old connected to Orem shooting turns himself in

The man is accused of attempted murder after a shooting in Orem in November. He turned himself in with the help of his lawyer.
2 days ago
A suspect is in custody Wednesday evening after University of Utah Police say two hidden cameras we...
Mark Jones

Hidden cameras found in restrooms in U of U Student Life Center, suspect in custody

University of Utah Police say a suspect has been arrested after two hidden cameras were found inside two different restrooms inside the Student Life Center.
3 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 game day snacks for the whole family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Asian Americans facing renewed discrimination, according to Utah lawmaker