The targeted murder of six Asian American women in Georgia is a vicious and racist hate crime committed by a white terrorist. Hate crimes against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) range from harassment to murder and have increased over 150% since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. 68% of these reported transgressions have been against Asian/AAPI women. Racist scapegoating of China for COVID-19 has escalated attacks on Asian/AAPI people; however, racist and gender-based domestic violence against Asians has a history of hundreds of years.
Asians for Justice denounce this week’s string of murders as the latest example in a longstanding history of violence against our people.
We vehemently condemn the failure of media and government officials to recognize this as a racist sexualized hate crime. The hypersexualization of Asian women is continued violence enacted upon our bodies as a result of centuries of imperialism and warfare. We demand justice for the victims and the larger AAPI community.
WHO is part of the Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community?
The AAPI community includes all people of Asian descent comprising hundreds of national origins, ethnic groups, and cultural practices. It includes mixed race groups, transnational and transracial adoptees, undocumented Asian people living in the United States, and Indigenous peoples of the Pacific Islands.
Asian descended people make up nearly two-thirds of the global population, yet in the U.S. we are treated as disposable. We are fetishized, infantilized, marginalized, and ignored. We are continuously seen as foreign threats. We have been murdered, lynched, rounded up from our businesses and homes, exiled from our communities, banned from immigration, and excluded from the path to citizenship. We have been uprooted from our homelands and torn from our families by imperialist wars that destroyed entire regions of Asia.
Anti-Asian violence and racism are deeply entrenched in the history of Louisiana and the greater U.S.: from St. Malo, the first Filipino settlement in Louisiana founded by Filipino men escaping enslavement, to the post-Civil War “coolie” trade that brought Chinese workers to the U.S. South as a substitute for enslaved Black workers, to the toxic dumping of Katrina debris less than a mile away from the Village de L’Est, the heart of the New Orleans Vietnamese community.
We understand that the struggles of local AAPI communities are bound up in a global system that perpetuates violence against all communities of color, including Black, brown, and Indigenous peoples.
WHAT do we stand for?
We vehemently oppose increased policing as a deterrent to racist hate crimes.
We vehemently oppose the caging and deportation of Asian immigrants by the U.S. government. We demand an end to ICE, detention centers, and deportations.
We are clear that the struggle for AAPI liberation is intersectional. It includes overlapping oppressions—affecting BIPOC and LGBTQ+ folx, immigrants, workers, and women—all perpetuated under a system ruled by white supremacist patriarchal colonizers. We stand in full solidarity with all who are exploited and oppressed under this system. This also includes white allies who understand this oppression and are actively fighting against it.
WHAT can you do?
We call on white and Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) people to confront anti-Asian racism within your communities. Internalized white supremacy takes many forms.
Take the lead from AAPI people and center our voices in calls to action, direct actions, advocacy, and education efforts. Acknowledge our suffering and seek our perspective to understand how we are uniquely affected by white supremacist patriachal power structures.
Stay vigilant. Intervene or document if you witness a hate crime or see an Asian/AAPI person in distress or danger.
Donate to and lift up the voices of Georgia-based Asian and AAPI groups who have been in the struggle for many years.
Use the hashtags #StopAsianHate and #StopAAPIHate- not #AsianLivesMatter. Co-opting the work of Black activists undermines necessary coalition building.
Research the Asian/AAPI plight in the U.S. and worldwide so you can also be aware of its long and fraught history.
As we hold each other through this period of mourning, let us also remember that in the face of violence and oppression, there has always been solidarity and resistance. Let us come together, learn from and uplift each other, and build a resilient, diverse community that includes everyone on the path to justice and liberation.