We mourn with and extend our deepest sympathies to the families of the six Asian American women senselessly killed last night. We hold our loved ones close as we navigate the complexities of grief.
“We are deeply saddened by the murder and loss of the six Asian American women and our hearts go out to their families and to the Asian American community in Georgia,” said Rod Lew, Executive Director of Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL). “We need to recognize that the environment of hate and brutality against Asian Americans, and particularly against women, is built on racism in all forms, including systemic racism, sexism, and policies that perpetuate fearmongering.”
Although a local sheriff Capt. Jay Baker claimed that the Atlanta killings were not racially-motivated and that the murder suspect was “just having a bad day,” we cannot ignore that these killings occurred in an environment rife with unabated hate and violence against Asian Americans. We call upon our law enforcement and elected officials to publicly acknowledge and address the rise in hate crimes. Furthermore, we ask local and state policymakers to make culturally-tailored crisis intervention resources available for Asian Americans to address physical and mental health issues stemming from this toxic hate-filled environment.
We thank our network partners from across diverse communities for speaking out against all forms of violence against Asian Americans and for uplifting our voices. We continue to stand as an advocate for public health and health equity; ultimately, safety from racially-motivated violence cannot be separated from community healing and wellbeing. We must also come together as a united front across different sectors, including media, business, justice, government, and community to respond appropriately and with compassion to this growing crisis.
During the past year, #StopAAPIHate has reported 3,795 incidents against Asian Americans. We understand that our Asian American community is going through pain and fear, and we stand in solidarity with you during these troubling times.
We ask that anyone experiencing or witnessing incidents report them to stopaapihate.org.
Rod Lew, MPH
Asian Pacific Partners for Empowerment, Advocacy and Leadership (APPEAL)