Across the country, members of the Asian-American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community are facing a rise in racism and racist violence directed at them. However, the increase of media attention in recent weeks does not begin to account for the silence that exists surrounding centuries of violence and discrimination against AAPI communities, whose experiences are too often invisible to the broader society. Nor has recent attention adequately captured the devastating impact of increased violence, threats, and fear that many within the AAPI community have felt due to the false, racist rhetoric generated by the highest offices in this nation.
Last Tuesday, we witnessed, again, the horrific consequences of our long and destructive history of racism in this country. The mass murder in Atlanta of eight people—including six women of Asian descent—was a grievous act of violence that sits at the nexus of our society’s failure to address racism and misogyny, and to protect its marginalized and vulnerable communities. If we continue to take an ahistorical approach to understanding the manifestations of oppression today, we once again miss an opportunity to put ourselves on the path to dismantling white supremacy and its deadly consequences. We must acknowledge the centuries of both legal and extra-legal oppression–of the many, diverse Asian and Pacific Islander communities that live in and have contributed to building this country.
As a nation, we must recognize the prevalence of white supremacy and its insidious ability to divide. We must call out xenophobia, bigotry, and racism in all forms and charge everyone, especially those that identify as white, with dismantling it.
The AAPI community is being asked to carry an enormous weight right now, including the burdens of silence they have carried for decades. Impact Justice stands in solidarity with you, as well as our AAPI staff, partners, community members, and those that are system-impacted. We extend our support to the families impacted and left behind, and hold all those impacted by racism, bigotry, and xenophobia. We, as always, continue to fight for justice.
Articles and resource:
- NPR’s Code Switch podcast: Screams and Silence
- Asian Americans Advancing Justice — Atlanta and their community response
- Anti-Asian Violence in America is Rooted in US Empire
- Stop AAPI Hate
- A Letter to my Fellow Asian-American Women Whose Hearts Are Still Breaking
- How to Help Combat Anti-Asian Violence
- Before the Chinese Exclusion Act, This Anti-Immigrant Law Targeted Asian Women
Note: Impact Justice understands the real need to disaggregate the experiences of the ethnically diverse people that are currently captured under the umbrella of AAPI, including Southeast Asian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander peoples. We will continue to watch this conversation unfold and follow the leadership of the NHPI and Asian-American communities.