Yesterday I personally shared some thoughts and reactions to the news of the murders in Atlanta. We wanted to follow up today with a community-wide note to address what has happened. Eight people were murdered, six of whom were Asian women.
To be clear, language matters and we need to call this what it is: a hate crime. This past year has seen a terrible uptick in anti-Asian violence and racist incidents, with new data from Stop AAPI Hate showing that nearly 70% of the nearly 4,000 reported incidents between March 2020 and February 2021 came from women. And this is probably a small percentage of what people have actually experienced, given that these incidents were all self-reported. And while early reporting seems to focus on portraying the murderer as someone who has a ‘sex addiction’ and ‘had a bad day’, misogyny and racism are not mutually exclusive– and having a bad day should never be the reason for loss of life. When we talk about dismantling white supremacy and oppressive structures, this work can’t be done in a silo. Our work is intersectional.
We know that our AAPI community members are struggling with a lot right now. We want to reiterate our support for you. If you are not sure how to support, start by checking in with your AAPI team members (respectfully, with no expectations — consider asking them what kind of energy they need for support right now?). Also, if you are in a position to do so, commit publicly to denouncing hate and violence.
Here are some additional resources that may also be helpful:
Asian Americans Advancing Justice
Bystander intervention training from Hollaback
Swarm Strategy Solidarity and Resource Guide
Finally, let’s not reduce this to ‘yet another shooting’, or ‘Asian victims’. These were people who had lives, and families, and names. We stand in remembrance of Delaina Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, and the other four victims whose names we do not yet carry with us.
In solidarity and grieving,
Felicia and Rachel