The Coalition for Community Safety and Justice (Community Youth Center, Chinese for Affirmative Action, Chinese Progressive Association, New Breath Foundation) stands with our API community in grief, anger, and sorrow over the tragic loss of lives, including six Asian women to gun violence yesterday in Atlanta. We understand these murders within the context of an accumulation of racism and violence perpetrated against the API community. It is not lost on us that API women are disproportionately affected by harassment and violence. The deep and long-standing trauma we experience is not a new phenomenon, but a continuation of systemic discrimination within our country’s history. We mourn for those who we have lost—their stories will not be forgotten. We stand with our community and commit all of the resources at our disposal to addressing the root causes of violence that have taken far too many of our loved ones.
As violence and terror permeate our communities across the nation, we are reminded daily of the API experience as being situated within a history of white supremacy and false narratives that perpetuate our proximity to whiteness. Before the racist and incensing language of our former president amplified a culture of hate against APIs and specifically Chinese people, this nation promoted policies that excluded us, interned us, deported us, and systematically deprived us of resources. And while details are still unfolding and we await news regarding the motive, it does not change the fact that our community is in pain.
In this moment in history, our community feels crippled and helpless. That is why the work of addressing the root causes of violence, racism and misogyny has never been more important. Law enforcement partners must be part of this work, but they must not be the whole solution. Long term investments across communities of color is imperative. Community-based Violence prevention programs, community ambassadors, financial resources for victims of families, education, and other community centered programs must be prioritized beyond the news cycle. Lives are at risk if community investments aren’t supported in our government budgets, and violence will persist if it is not addressed at its source.
We thank local Atlanta API community-based organizations for their leadership during this time and we will continue to follow their lead. We ask our allies to do the same and stand in solidarity with APIs.