The New York State Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NYSCADV) sees the interconnectedness between misogyny, racism, and white supremacy evident in this attack in Atlanta targeting Asian women. We mourn the loss of lives and offer our heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims. We stand in solidarity with the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. We condemn the rise in racism, discrimination, and white supremacy which has caused many community members to feel increasingly unsafe.
Long before the first case of COVID-19 made its appearance in the United States, the AAPI community experienced racism. From the Chinese Exclusion Act and the internment of West Coast Japanese residents and U.S. citizens of Japanese heritage during World War II to the sentencing of the perpetrators in the death of Vincent Chin, systemic and institutionalized racism has led to the accumulation of racial injustices against the AAPI Community. Much of these incidents are largely unnoticed by non-AAPI communities and the media. In fact, as the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded, the AAPI community has been the target of significant race-related discrimination and hate crimes. Countless Asian Americans have been threatened, harassed, attacked, and now murdered due to misinformation about COVID-19 and anti-Asian rhetoric.
Stop AAPI Hate reports that they have received 3,795 reports of anti-Asian incidents nationwide between March 19, 2020 – February 28, 2021[i]. Fourteen percent of these reports originated in New York State. Additionally, the New York City Commission on Human Rights reports receiving 389 coronavirus-related hate crime incidents between February and May of 2020 [ii]. Of those, 145 complaints involved anti-Asian sentiment. According to City & State New York, those 145 complaints show a “tenfold increase in anti-Asian complaints filed compared to the same period last year, which had only 12”[iii]. Furthermore, the Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABA) stated they are unaware of “a single prosecution of anti-Asian bias or hate crime from 2020”[iv]. AABA further stated that “complaints to civil law enforcement have produced no meaningful response”[v].
What’s more, many AAPI individuals reported that no one stepped in to help them when they were being harassed or assaulted. To be a bystander is to be complicit and to be silent in the face of a victim’s distress. We must all strive to be Upstanders. We can all do our part as individuals to speak up against injustice and create positive change.
NYSCADV commends the Biden Administration for taking a strong stand condemning racism against the AAPI community by publishing the Memorandum Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States; click here to read it.
NYSCADV recognizes that it is our collective responsibility to challenge racism and white supremacy to build a world in which every individual is valued and respected. We remain committed to working with partners and allies across sectors and with Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities and organizations to end the inequities that foster violence that has hurt and traumatized our communities.
[i] Jeung, Russell, Yellow Horse, Popovic, and Lim. 2021. Stop AAPI Hate National Report 3.19.20 – 2.28.2021. Available: https://secureservercdn.net/188.8.131.52/a1w.90d.myftpupload.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/210312-Stop-AAPI-Hate-National-Report-.pdf
[ii] Dervishi, Kay. 2020. Coronavirus Pandemic Drives a New Wave of Hate Crimes. CITY & STATE NEW YORK. Available: https://www.cityandstateny.com/articles/politics/new-york-city/coronavirus-pandemic-drives-new-wave-hate-crimes.html-0
[iii] Dervishi. 2020.
[iv] Asian American Bar Association of New York (AABA). 2021. A Rising Tide of Hate and Violence against Asian Americans in New York During COVID-19: Impact, Causes, Solutions. Available: https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.aabany.org/resource/resmgr/press_releases/2021/A_Rising_Tide_of_Hate_and_Vi.pdf
[v] AABA. 2021.