We condemn the mass shootings yesterday in Cherokee County, GA, and Atlanta. Many of the victims were Asian American women, including employees of the spas.
In the last year, hate crimes against AAPIs have risen precipitously, with over 3,000 incidents reported to the Stop AAPI Hate coalition since the pandemic began. Nationwide, a majority of these victims were women or elderly. Many were blamed unfairly for COVID-19. Our country has a long history of treating AAPI persons unequally. In particular, AAPI women were targeted by laws like the Page Act of 1875, which treated all AAPI women immigrants as prostitutes.
The perpetrators of hate are trying to drive fear deep into our communities, scare our multigenerational households from going to school and work, and prevent our community from participating in civil society by voting. As a country, we must stand against these hateful acts and the recent rise in white supremacy that is reinforcing it. We stand together in calling for action, including:
- Attorney General Merrick Garland to investigate the shootings in Georgia as hate crimes;
- President Biden to reauthorize the White House Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders by Executive Order;
- President Biden and Congress to strengthen gun sense laws; and
- Federal funds to be dispersed to community based organizations in the states to conduct education and training for AAPI communities.
AAAF Georgia Chapter President Cam Ashling said, “Hate doesn’t wait. We cannot wait until APA Heritage Month in May for our community to be heard and recognized and for policies to change. The threat is here, it’s real, and even as we grieve, we organize.”
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