My heart is broken for the lives that were taken and for the families who lost loved ones on Tuesday March 16th. It was on that day that a gunman killed eight people at three separate massage parlors in the Atlanta area. Six of the victims were women of Asian descent. I am saddened by this tragic event, but unfortunately, I am not surprised.
Although racism against people of Asian descent has always been present in US history, the past year has been particularly difficult for our fellow Americans:
- While the number of hate crimes across the general population has decreased, hate crimes against Asian Americans have increased by 149%
- During the COVID-19 pandemic, elected officials continued a long tradition of scapegoating Asian communities and used derogatory and xenophobic language to describe the virus
- Nearly 60% of Asian American adults report that since the beginning of the pandemic, they are more likely to be the recipient of racist remarks
We have simply not done enough to combat bigotry over the past year. It is time for us to unequivocally say that enough is enough. I call on all of us to:
- Develop strategies to stand up to intolerance and report hate incidents
- Donate to organizations that fight for equality and provide support
- Learn more about the Asian American experience
And while race is undeniably at the center of this tragedy, last week’s violence is also a painful reminder during Women’s History Month that we have not done enough to keep women, and women of color in particular, safe.
- Since the beginning of the pandemic, Asian American women have reported hate incidents at 2.3 times the rate of Asian American men
- Nearly 1 in 5 Black women are survivors of rape
- More than half of the Transgender women who have been murdered in 2021 have been Black
- Domestic violence support systems are not doing enough to aid Latina immigrant women
To make a difference, support organizations that advocate for AAPI women and other women of color and reach out to your representatives and demand action to prevent violence against women.
It is up to all of us to do everything in our power to fight the racism and sexism that led to the shooting in Atlanta. It will take all of us proclaiming enough is enough, to end the hate.