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The escalation of hate crimes against Asian Americans in the United States demands action.  No one should be a victim of violence and oppression. The recent murders of eight people in Atlanta, including six Asian Americans, is heartbreaking; along with millions of people across the country, we mourn the loss of these lives and hold their families and community in the Light.

As Quakers, we denounce these killings, this violence, this xenophobia, and this racism.

As Quakers, we denounce these killings, this violence, this xenophobia, and this racism. We must examine ourselves and acknowledge the roles that people of faith, our government, and our institutions have played in perpetuating this racism. 

The mass killings in Atlanta are but the latest in the rising violence, xenophobia, and racism against Asian Americans, made worse by lies the former president perpetrated about the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Since March 2020, research by the nonprofit, Stop AAPI Hate, reports nearly 3,800 hate incidents against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. Community experts say that the total number is much higher.  A new study of police statistics from 16 major cities reveal that hate crimes against Asian Americans surged 149% in 2020 while the general average dropped by 7%. Researchers at the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at CSU San Bernardino, which conducted the study, say that a significant number of these hate crimes are against women.

As we grieve the women who were recently killed in Atlanta, we also hold in the Light the millions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have been subjected to racism throughout our country’s history.

Throughout our country’s history, Asian Americans have been subject to racism and white supremacy. Chinese and Filipinos were brought into the United States as cheap labor – and then subjected to violence, like the Chinese massacre of 1871 in Los Angeles, and laws like the Immigration Act of 1924, which excluded Asians. During World War II, Americans of Japanese descent were incarcerated in prisoners of war camps.

As we seek a world free from violence, we need to root out xenophobia and racism. We should stop spreading the myth that Asian Americans are “model minorities,” because this myth is often used to belittle other underprivileged people and communities of color.

As we grieve the women who were recently killed in Atlanta, we also hold in the Light the millions of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders who have been massacred, discriminated against, and subjected to racism throughout our country’s history.

Diane Randall

Diane Randall

General Secretary
Diane Randall is the General Secretary of the Friends Committee on National Legislation. Diane leads FCNL’s staff to effectively educate and lobby for the policies and legislative priorities established by FCNL’s General Committee.

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