AFCC-CA believes it is important to take a firm a stand against the recent escalation of violence and hate targeting our Asian and Pacific-Islander communities. A recent Pew survey indicates that since the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, approximately 30% of Americans and immigrants of Asian and Pacific Islander descent reported having been the target of racist slurs or jokes; and between March 2020 and February 2021, nearly 3,800 hate crimes or incidents against this segment of our population have also been reported.
Many of these terrible assaults have been captured on video. Well before 2020, there was a long history of discrimination and harassment against the Asian community, especially in California, which has the country’s oldest and largest Asian community. Currently approximately 15% of California’s population of 40 million people are of Asian or Pacific Islander descent.
Recently, our nation was horrified by the murder of several Asian women in Atlanta by one individual. However, earlier examples of Anti-Asian sentiment exist in our country include racist mob aggression, laws and public policies that targeted Asian-American communities include the Chinese massacre in Los Angeles in 1871, the Page Exclusion Act of 1875, the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, and the forced internment of about 120,000 Japanese Americans on the West Coast during World War II through Executive Order 9066. It cannot be ignored that those who have recently preyed on mostly vulnerable and older members of Asian and Pacific Islander communities in these attacks have also included members of other communities of color. We must all strongly condemn these crimes.
AFCC-CA embraces a belief shared by a broad and multi-racial cross-section of our nation, that “An attack on any group of us is an attack on all of us.” The goal of striving for an inclusive society where all communities and people have an opportunity to thrive also requires acknowledgement of histories of economic and social inequities that exist between our diverse communities, and traumatic and adversarial legacies that serve only to poison the well from which we all drink.
AFCC-CA does not claim to have a perfect or final answer for eliminating Anti-Asian Hate or racism in general. However, AFCC-CA is dedicated to the welfare of children and families. We advocate for, and support, programs by our educational, judicial and religious institutions that promote cross-cultural understanding of the diverse communities that call the United States of America home. While lessons from the past may not always ward off unequal treatment, they can provide insights into the present and contribute to a better future. If we can learn to view each other with respect and compassion, we may avoid repeating the sins of our past. It is important to show our support to individuals and organizations bringing awareness of these attacks and educate our communities in the need of finding ways to end hate crimes against all underrepresented and marginalized communities.