Our response to violence against Asian-Americans
On Tuesday, March 16, 2021, Delaina Ashley Yaun, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Soon C. Park, Hyun J. Grant, Suncha Kim, and Yong A. Yue were murdered by Robert Aaron Long, a white male. Six of the eight victims were Asian-American women. Although authorities are still investigating the shooter’s motive, we can be assured that the act, in and of itself, is a form of domestic terrorism. We extend our deepest sympathy and condolences to the families and communities devastated by this atrocious act of hate.
While Long’s motives remain under investigation, the coincidence of this act with a recent rise in hate crimes against Asian-Americans, Asian Pacific Islander, and Asians cannot be overlooked. According to data released in March by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino, hate crimes against Asian-Americans in the 16 largest 16 U.S. cities spiked by nearly 150 percent during 2020, while overall hate crimes dropped by 7 percent. Since the pandemic began, close to 3,800 incidents of violence directed against Asian-Americans have been reported, and likely many more have gone unreported. Nearly half of these incidents occurred in California. This sharp rise in offenses correlates with an increase in Anti-Asian racism and xenophobism due to rhetoric and misinformation about COVID-19.
The Black Lives Matter movement has rightfully brought anti-Blackness and White supremacy into the national spotlight. However, we must not allow racism and hatred directed towards other minority groups to become overshadowed by injustices experienced by Black Americans. These events reinforce the urgency with which we must unite around a common goal: speaking out against injustices against all minorities, and leading with a focus on equity in our work to dismantle racism and white supremacy.
At the Center for Transformation of Schools, our primary objective is to create schools that all students deserve: schools that are free of racism, that challenge inequality, that address the basic needs of children, and allow students to develop their full potential. We believe that schools play a critical role in combating racism in all forms, and encourage educators to leverage this opportunity to speak with your students about xenophobia and tolerance. Our Center moves forward from these events recommitted to our mission, vision and work with fervor and sharpened focus. We condemn these hateful acts and all forms of Anti-Asian rhetoric and racism, and stand in solidarity with the AAPI community during this painful time.