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Victims of anti-Asian American attacks look for protection and legislation: "I need you to help my people"

Denny Kim said an unprovoked verbal assault came before two men knocked him down on a Los Angeles sidewalk in Febuary. 

"They started calling me Chinese virus. They started calling me chink and they started calling me gook... The assailants, when they were beating me up on the ground, they told me that they wanted to kill me," Kim told CBS News' Weijia Jiang.

The 27-year-old is a proud Korean American and a U.S. Air Force veteran. Now, he is pleading for the country to serve him.

"I feel like President Biden really needs to protect Asian Americans right now. If you're listening to me, if you're watching this right now, 'Sir, I need you to help my people, sir, because we're getting shot and killed, sir,'" he said.

President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris are traveling to Atlanta Friday to meet with Asian American leaders after the deadly shootings at three Atlanta-area spas. Eight people, including six women of Asian descent, were shot and killed Tuesday.

New data released by "Stop AAPI Hate" revealed nearly 4,000 incidents against Asian Americans have been reported since the start of the coronavirus pandemic — an increase of about 150% in major U.S. cities.

The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing Thursday on violence against Asian-Americans during the pandemic. It was the first congressional hearing on anti-Asian discrimination in more than 30 years.

During the congressional hearing, Texas Congressman Chip Roy questioned if a crime should be linked to hate. He also defended the use of anti-Chinese rhetoric to describe the virus.

"I'm not going to be ashamed of saying I oppose the Chi-Comms!" Roy said.

Representative Grace Meng of New York, the first vice-chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, fired back at Roy's remarks.

"This hearing was to address the hurt and pain of our community to find solutions. And we will not let you take our voice away from us!" she said.

Meng said Asian Americans have a target on their backs. During the hearing, she shared several racist voicemails her office has received.

Meng and other lawmakers want legislation to create a federal position to review all recent attacks on Asian Americans. Meng told CBS News despite the rise of attacks, she can't remember when she saw so many people standing in solidarity with the Asian American community.

She is now pushing to pass the COVID-19 hate crimes act. Victims of these attacks, like Kim, said lawmakers must do something now because lives depend on it.

"It's as important as my mom living and not fearing for her life when she goes to the grocery store. I don't want her getting beat up and her head hitting the concrete because someone was just filled with so much hate and ignorance," Kim said. 

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