We Stand With And in Protection of Asian American Lives
Anti-Asian hate crimes have been on the rise during the Covid-19 pandemic with crimes against people of Asian and Pacific Island descent now reported in 50 states. A majority of the attacks which range from verbal abuse to physical assault have targeted particularly the elderly and women. This past Tuesday, a man shot and killed eight people, six of whom were Asian women. Though the Cherokee County police and the killer have denied the attack was racially motivated, the fact that only Asian businesses were attacked and that the majority of victims were women of Asian descent has not escaped the public’s notice. The killings have caused great grief and anger in Asian American communities throughout the US. This grief has been further exacerbated by the words of Captain Jay Baker of the Cherokee County’s Sheriff Department who when commenting on the shootings remarked that, “yesterday was a really bad day for him and this is what he did.” The pain of this statement cannot be understated. In response to the alarming escalation in xenophobia and bigotry resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, the Asian Pacific Planning and Policy Council (A3PCON), Chinese for Affirmative Action (CAA), and the Asian American Studies Department of San Francisco State University launched the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center on March 19, 2020. Encourage those who experience or witness acts of hate towards the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities to report an incident at https://stopaapihate.org/actnow The center tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States. Their approach recognizes that in order to effectively address anti-Asian racism we must work to end all forms of structural racism leveled at Black, Indigenous, and other communities of color. Please see their website for more information. And most importantly, look out for our Asian friends, neighbors, and colleagues. No one should live in fear that a normal day will turn into one of harassment or worse – death.