Violence Against Asian and Pacific Islander Americans Must Stop

Community Partners in Action condemns the marked rise of violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. We are horrified by the mass shootings at three Atlanta area spas that left eight people dead and one victim fighting for his life. Investigators are still determining the motivation that led to the killings; however, we can’t ignore that six of the victims were Asian-American women.

Anti-Asian discrimination in the U.S. dates back almost two centuries. The recent racist rhetoric about the origin of the COVID-19 virus only perpetuates the hate.  Words matter, and we must hold accountable any person who uses hate speech.

In statements following the shootings, some public officials and members of law enforcement not only missed an important opportunity to denounce racism and bigotry, but one spokesperson demonstrated their own implicit bias. This person said the shooter had “a really bad day,” which was disrespectful and diminished the victims of the tragedy.  These officials are not blameless and must be held to a higher standard.

One cannot separate this horror from the ongoing verbal and physical violence against women, especially women of color. Misogyny has no place in our society. It must be challenged and eradicated at the same time as racism.

Too often in the last twelve months, we have asked ourselves, “What can I do?” You can seek out local grassroots justice organizations to further educate yourself on Asian and Pacific Islander American issues.  Organizations like Asian Americans Advancing Justice (AAJC) offer virtual bystander intervention training. You can donate to advocacy organizations and support businesses owned by citizens of Asian and Pacific Islander ethnicity.  Together, we can make a difference that guarantees that women and all communities of color are safe and treated with dignity and respect.