Translations Available: Korean 한국어, Vietnamese Tiếng Việt, Chinese 中文, Tagalog
Disability Rights Washington recognizes the impact of racial violence against the Asian American and Pacific Islander community historically and in light of recent events. Last week on March 16th, eight people were killed at three separate spas in North Georgia. Six of the people killed were Asian and all but one were women.
The disability rights movement is inseparable from the human rights movements for racial, economic, and gender equity. Our work is rooted in the firm belief that all people deserve respect, dignity, and self-determination.
In solidarity with AAPI communities, we would like to amplify the message released by Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta last week. We believe that their message applies to not only Georgia, but all of the nation, including our own state. As long as racism permeates the systems and institutions that make up America, we will fall short of the diversity, equity, and inclusion goals for which we strive and people will continue to be harmed and killed by racist actions. See message below.
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““We are heartbroken by these acts of violence. Six Asian women lost their lives. Now is the time to hold the victims and their families in our hearts and in our light. We’re calling on our allies across communities of color to stand with us in grief and solidarity against racist violence in all its forms. When our most vulnerable community members are targeted, we all need to band together,”” shared Stephanie Cho, Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Atlanta.
While the details of the shootings are still emerging, the broader context cannot be ignored. The shootings happened under the trauma of increasing violence against Asian Americans nationwide, fueled by white supremacy and systemic racism. While anti-Asian violence is woven throughout our nation’s history, the Trump administration’s relentless scapegoating of Asians for the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has increased the incidences of hate and violence against Asian Americans around the country. According to the most recent data, hate incidents targeting Asian Americans rose by nearly 150% in 2020, with Asian American women twice as likely to be targeted. Stop AAPI Hate received 3,800 reports of anti-Asian hate since March 2020 to February 2021, with 35% of discriminatory acts happening at businesses and with women reporting hate incidents twice as men.
“”That the Asian women murdered [last week] were working highly vulnerable and low-wage jobs during an ongoing pandemic speaks directly to the compounding impacts of misogyny, structural violence, and white supremacy,”” said Phi Nguyen, Litigation Director at Asian American Advancing Justice – Atlanta.
In Georgia, as in many states across the country, systemic disinvestment from and criminalization of communities of color means that we do not have the infrastructure or resources in place for effective community safety, a robust social service safety net, and in-language support. In addition, white supremacy devalues the lives and experiences of immigrant communities, Black communities, and other communities of color while heightening xenophobia and divisions among us. At a time where we could be building bridges of understanding and support, white supremacy continues to diminish our already fractured society.
During this time of crisis for our AAPI community, we call on our local and state government to provide robust and responsive crisis intervention resources, including in-language support for mental health, legal, employment, and immigration services. It is time for Georgia to invest in transformative justice that begins with cross racial dialogue and community-building that address the root causes of violence and hate.
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