Dear friends and supporters of OACC,
OACC mourns the loss of the victims’ lives in the recent shootings in Atlanta, Georgia. Multiple victims were Asian women. Their names are Delaina Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Soon C. Park, Hyun J. Grant, Suncha Kim, and Yong A. Yue. (1)
This hate crime reflects the escalation, both in frequency and magnitude, of anti-Asian violence, racism, sexism, and discrimination that have been exacerbated since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Racist rhetoric from the Trump administration continued to provoke and fan flames of hatred against Asians, and powerful institutions like our broken policing and justice system continue to uphold these bigoted, and dangerous, views. In the past year alone, there have been 3,800 anti-Asian racist incidents reported to Stop AAPI Hate, most of them against women.
We also recognize that while anti-Asian rhetoric was heightened by the Trump administration, there is a history of institutionalized racism against the AAPI community at the highest levels of government. We see this through exclusionary immigration acts, the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II and the devastating impacts that the Patriot Act had on Muslim Americans.
Thoughts and prayers are not enough: the time is long overdue to reimagine and implement effective policy that ensures the safety of AAPI communities as well as our BIPOC community from racist acts of violence and terrorism. Those with political and financial means, including our national leaders, must exercise moral leadership by denouncing, confronting, and working to end anti-Asian attacks. This means deliberately investing in our diverse communities, which hold the resources, solutions, and capacity to heal trauma, support mental health, strengthen cross-cultural bonds, and collectively build a more just and equitable society.
OACC rejects white supremacy, racism, and xenophobia in all spaces in which we rightfully belong. We will not stay silent to the system that, for decades, denies accountability and continues to perpetuate institutionalized racism and misogyny. Hate crimes that target our communities reinforce the importance and urgency for us to cultivate inclusive, anti-racist spaces in our public programs and community coalition projects. We stand in solidarity with the Atlanta AAPI community and our allies in the Oakland Chinatown Coalition, Stop AAPI Hate, and many others, who continue to fight against systemic racism for our shared communities.
Although pain outweighs joy during dark moments such as these, we cannot let racism extinguish the light that shines within our AAPI communities. Our commitment to action is our beacon that will guide us as we navigate these turbulent waters together toward a brighter future.
If you or someone you know is interested in wanting to help, get involved, or otherwise stay informed about community-based response efforts that address the systemic issues we’re facing, please utilize our resource list.
In solidarity and community,
Oakland Asian Cultural Center
Banner Image courtesy of stopaapihate.org.