Earlier this week in Atlanta, GA, eight people were murdered in three separate spas. Six of the victims were Asian women. During this period of grief, our hearts go out to the victims and their loved ones.
We cannot ignore that this horrific tragedy occurred at a moment of great tension – throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, representatives in political power consistently scapegoated Asian communities for the virus, and hate incidents targeting Asian Americans rose by nearly 150% in 2020. Additionally, we have to reckon with the fact that the dehumanization of Asian Americans and the hyper-sexualization of Asian women is an extensive part of America’s history.
This act of violence, fueled by white supremacy, misogyny, and xenophobia, occurred in the wake of a nationwide response to a global pandemic that failed to protect and uplift communities hit hardest by the virus – communities of color, immigrants, and those working in low-wage, vulnerable jobs. We call on the federal, state, and local governments to invest in vulnerable communities, language access programs, pandemic relief, immigrant support services, and transformative justice.
Georgia Appleseed and the Appleseed Network stand in solidarity with the AAPI community against racist violence, and we will continue our work to dismantle systemically racist systems and institutions.