US President Joe Biden Signs Bill To Establish Asian Pacific History Museum

A commission to study the potential creation of a national museum of AAPI history and culture will be formed.

2 min read
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United States President Joe Biden has signed a bill to study the potential of establishing a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture so that members of different diaspora can feel that they are a part of the history of America.

Biden signed into law the Commission to Study the Potential Creation of a National Museum of Asian Pacific American History and Culture Act, on Monday, 13 June.

"Today, it's clear that the battle for the soul of America continues."
Joe Biden, US President

Biden noted that Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders have shaped the history and "contours" of the US. The diversity of the cultures is significant as there's no single definition of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, or Pacific Islander identity. There are multiple nuances and the "breadth of achievement is equally broad and significant," he added.

Vice President Kamala Harris heralds the role of such museums in inspiring and educating the people of the United States. She recalled the story of her mother who came to the US as a 19-year-old to become a breast cancer researcher.

"Growing up, my mother made sure that my sister Maya and I learned of the important, glorious history of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in America. Because that, of course, is part of the history of America."
Kamala Harris, United States Vice President.

What Will the Commission Do?

The commission will research multiple ways to narrate the story of heroes who shaped the economy of the United States – from the South Asian Americans who changed the face of farming on the Pacific Coast to the Japanese Americans who fought during World War II and the Chinese American garment workers who changed labor laws by marching down the streets of New York four decades ago.

The commission has been set up by Biden's administration not only to highlight the positive aspects of history but also to understand the country's "darkest moments" such as discrimination against South Asian Americans after 9/11, the internment of Japanese Americans, the Chinese Exclusion Act and the recent "epidemic of hate," which has led to violent acts against Asian Americans and other communities across the country.

"By equipping people with knowledge and historical context, then we can fight ignorance, dispel misinformation, and work toward a future where all people can live without fear and a future where all people--all people can help write the next chapter of American history."
Kamala Harris, United States Vice President.

Indian American non-profits such as the Indian American Impact praised this investment as a "fantastic step forward in the acknowledgment and appreciation of Asian American and Pacific Islander history."

Neil Makhija, Indian American Impact Executive Director, said this investment would be the first step in rectifying the truth that the Asian American community has been historically excluded from inclusive conversations about American contributions.

"The establishment of an AAPI museum will help bridge the divide our community has experienced and indisputably cement our accomplishments as part of American history."
Neil Makhija, Indian American Impact Executive-Director

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