We are devastated by the shootings that occurred in Atlanta yesterday, killing eight people, six of whom were Asian, and all but one of whom were women. We are outraged that this is just the latest instance in a surge of xenophobia and racism against the AAPI community, with Stop AAPI Hate reporting 3,800 incidents of anti-Asian hate from March 2020 to February 2021, with women reporting twice as many incidents as men. Our hearts go out to the Asian-American community in Georgia especially, and to all communities of color for whom these incidents cause heartbreak and fear.
The recent increase in violence is a direct result of the previous Administration’s baseless blaming of Asians for the COVID-19 pandemic. But state-sanctioned scapegoating is not new. As far back as 1850, anti-immigrant sentiment motivated state legislatures to subject Asian-Americans to unequal taxes, bar them from public schools and hospitals, and prohibit them from serving on juries or testifying in court. While many state laws have been changed, far right legislators continue to stoke racism against Asian-Americans.
Americans will not let politicians or hateful words divide us. We have demonstrated profound resilience, and we have the ability to unite against systemic injustices of racism and misogyny, compounded by the global pandemic. Sister District stands with the state and local leaders who are working to hold those who have done harm to account, and to build safer communities through healing and solidarity. We must continue to elect anti-racist state legislators and officials who will advance equity for all.