Content warning: Violence, racism
I am sickened by the murder of six AAPI women, along with two others, in Atlanta.
Make no mistake: these crimes were driven by hate, fueled by racism that has festered this past year.
Since the beginning of this pandemic, while all communities have been hit hard, our AAPI community has been confronted by the twin threats of the coronavirus and the virus of racism.
We had an ex-President who scapegoated our community, referring to the “Chinese virus” and “Kung-flu.” He emboldened his supporters, who have unleashed an unprecedented level of racism, discrimination and attacks.
Over this past year, STOP AAPI Hate, a coalition tracking anti-Asian hate incidents, has tracked 3,795 incidents, with over 1,600 complaints in California and 700 in the Bay Area. Just yesterday, as we learned about the horror in Atlanta, there were two more attacks against Asians in San Francisco and Oakland. And we know there are many incidents that haven’t been reported.
As we mourn this tragic loss of life, seek justice, and chart a path forward, thoughts and prayers are not enough.
While I’ve proposed legislation to address hate crimes in California, that alone will not bring peace and safety to our communities.
We need leadership across our nation, in every state, at every level of society, to take action and bring justice to victims.
For those who have asked what you can do, we appreciate your allyship. Here are some of the organizations doing critical work during this time:
- Stop AAPI Hate – a project tracking anti-AAPI hate incidents, run by Chinese for Affirmative Action, San Francisco State University Asian American Studies Department, and Asian Pacific Policy & Planning Council.
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice, a national nonprofit focusing on housing rights, immigration, civil rights, labor rights, and others for Asian Americans.
- Hate Is a Virus, a grassroots organization addressing xenophobia and hate in the AAPI and BIPOC communities.
- Act To Change, a nonprofit addressing bullying, including in the AAPI community.
- Asian Pacific American Leadership Action Fund, a nonprofit preparing AAPI leaders for civic involvement and public service.
Together, we must stand up to these hate crimes until they end. Until then, please stay safe.