EL is founded, owned, and led by an Asian woman, and we have always championed inclusivity from marginalized voices. The rise in hate crimes against the AAPI community beginning last year at the start of the pandemic has only been exacerbating. Just as it was our duty to speak out on police brutality, we are condemning the continued acts of violence against an already vulnerable community.
It began with the then-President using xenophobic language to address the pandemic. Businesses suffered. Then people were getting spit on, yelled at, beaten, slashed, attacked for being Asian. Because somehow people believed the virus was our fault.
Vicha Ratanapakdee was a Thai immigrant in San Francisco. An 84-year-old gentle man who was randomly and brutally murdered while simply walking down the street. A Burmese-American family, including children ages 2 and 6, were attacked at a Sam’s Club in Midland Texas because the attacker believed they were “Chinese and infecting people with the coronavirus.” An Asian woman in Brooklyn had acid doused on her resulting in severe burns while simply taking out the trash.
Asian-Americans face police brutality, too. Peter Yew in 1975 in Chinatown, NYC was beaten when he asked police to stop beating a 15-year-old for a traffic violation. And just recently, during a mental health crisis, 19-year-old Chinese-American, Christian Hall, was shot and killed by police despite putting both of his hands up in the air.
These are just some examples of the ever-growing brutality being faced by the Asian community in the US. These are not isolated incidents. Attacks against the Asian diaspora are happening abroad, too. And this has been an ongoing, longstanding problem. One only needs to revisit history with the Chinese Massacre of 1871 in Los Angeles, the Rock Springs Massacre of Chinese workers in Wyoming in 1885, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, and the murder of Vincent Chin to understand how deep anti-Asian sentiments go and how long they’ve persisted in this country.
We must stand together with all of the victims of an oppressive, racist system – one that hurts ALL marginalized people based on the color of their skin.
We demand justice. We demand coverage by the mainstream media to bring attention to the injustice and violence. We demand real action and change. Not just for one, but for all. We demand that these perpetrators be held accountable for their actions. We must address the systemic racism, oppression, and bias, and demand its undoing. A system of oppression is not a system that can continue.
And we hope you can join us in this fight.
Stop AAPI Hate. Enough is enough.
If you want to help the AAPI community in any way you can, we have compiled a list of resources to help you get started.