Last night, a white man shot and killed eight people in Atlanta, Georgia, most of whom were Asian and immigrant women. The horrific violence in Georgia is not just the latest in a trend of intensifying attacks on Asian communities. It builds on a centuries-old history of anti-Asian racial terrorism, white supremacy, and misogyny—little of which make the pages of American school history textbooks.
As journalist Kat Chow poignantly reminds us, each victim of this attack was a person with hopes and dreams and a family “waiting for them at home.” We cannot lose sight of this. Even as we move to urgently respond and enact policies to prevent this from ever happening again, we cannot forget the lives lost. We join our Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) colleagues, friends, family, and neighbors who are grappling with fear, heartache, and outrage from these attacks.
As an organization, SiX re-commits to amplifying AAPI legislators, especially Asian women; addressing anti-Asian and anti-immigrant rhetoric; and challenging the progressive movement’s frequent silence on issues that impact AAPI communities, issues that also impact many other communities of color. To that end, we implore you to use your powerful platform to speak out and take legislative action to increase protections for your AAPI families, friends, constituents, and communities.
AAPI legislators in our network: we see you and are here for you. And we acknowledge that AAPI folks are vastly underrepresented in state legislatures and we need all legislators—Black, white, brown alike—to step into deeper solidarity and partnership with Asian communities to confront this violence.
The violent attacks yesterday, the ongoing attacks of AAPI folks across the country, the 1-year anniversary of Breonna Taylor’s murder at the hands of police, the trial for justice for George Floyd in MN, and countless other events over the last several weeks continue to show the ways that white supremacy and white supremacist violence shape every aspect of our daily lives, our communities, our movements, and our organization.
We know and live that white supremacy is weaponized to divide our communities. As each of us experiences the pain, the grief, and the fear of racialized violence, white supremacy works to try and convince us that this is a time to isolate and remove ourselves from one another. Racism relies on division and fear. It is up to each of us to actively engage in anti-racism work as individuals, organizations and movements. The shared enemy of white supremacy and white supremacist violence must be combatted with a deep commitment to solidarity rooted in our shared humanity.
The resources below can help you and your constituencies report, respond, and join in collective action against anti-Asian attacks: Against Hate: Responding to Anti-Asian Violence.
Jessie and Neha