Words fail to express the heartache and anger we feel at the increasing attacks against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in communities across the United States. We should not dismiss the mass shooting in Georgia on March 16, 2021, which targeted Asian American women, as another attack by a “lone gunman” with mental health issues. We should see it for what it is, another act of violence in a country that has committed heinous attacks against Asian communities since they first dared to pursue the so-called American dream.
As with African American and Indigenous communities, we must begin to reconcile the immoral past that allowed the lynching of 20 Chinese people in Los Angeles in 1871, considered one of the worst mass lynchings in U.S. history, to go unpunished and largely unrecognized. We also must acknowledge the lingering impacts of Japanese American internment during World War II, a Supreme Court-backed legal precedent, which was only potentially “reversed” in 2018. We must then also acknowledge the terrible lie that the AAPI community is somehow responsible for the spread of COVID-19. This lie has led to the last 12 months in which the AAPI community has reported nearly 3800 attacks, 500 of which happened in the first two months of 2021. Many of these attacks were against the elderly and the most economically vulnerable, the people most harmed by the virus.
The Georgia attack is just one of many urgent examples of brutality that underscore the need to dismantle bigotry, racial violence and white supremacy throughout the nation and to affirm an end to violence against women. Our work centers on communities striving for greater political autonomy and improved health and well-being for everyone. As we work toward a healthier planet, the effort to reimagine a safe and healthy future for all of us will take all of us.
We stand in solidarity with the AAPI community specifically as we have continued to do for the wider, inclusive BIPOC community.
Anti-Racism and Intersectional Justice Fund | AAPI Civic Engagement Fund
Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Atlanta, Los Angeles)
East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation
National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum
Metro Atlanta Mutual Aid Fund
Center for Asian American Media (CAAM)