Content warning: This post discusses racist violence
It’s long past time we acknowledged the history of discrimination, hate, and othering of Asian Americans in the United States.
Last week’s shootings of eight people, including six women of Asian descent, at three Asian American-owned businesses near Atlanta have left us shocked, scared, and frustrated – but unfortunately, not surprised.
Whether our country can overcome our legacy of violence towards people of color remains to be seen. But what we do know is that the racist language surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and Asian Americans must end. Racist policies and myths that work to disempower Asian Americans and uphold white supremacy must end.
Our silence must end.
We at CLF stand in solidarity with our Asian American colleagues, partners, family, and friends. Racism is a public health crisis, and it is incumbent upon all of us as environmentalists and human beings to listen, to learn, and to speak up when it matters.
We all must educate ourselves on the harm done to the Asian American community as well as other people of color by the pervasive “model minority” myth. We must understand the intersection of race and sexism that has plagued Asian American women specifically.
It’s worth noting that right before the Atlanta shooting, Stop AAPI Hate issued a report on the rising spate of hate crimes against Asian Americans in the United States since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. This is unacceptable.
Speaking out, listening, and learning are first steps in each of us doing our part to combat the epidemic of systemic racism. We also recommend that anyone with the means to take their support even further donate to one or several of the following organizations in solidarity with the community:
- Asian Community Emergency Relief Fund
- Chinese Progressive Association
- Quincy Asian Resources
- Chinese and American Friendship Association of Maine
- Unified Asian Communities
- Chinese Culture Society of Greater Nashua
- Center for Southeast Asians
- Split a donation to groups fighting nationally for racial justice
To be environmentalists – to stand up for healthy communities for all people across New England – we must be anti-racist. We cannot, and will not, be silent. We will say their names.
Soon Chung Park.
Hyun Jung Grant.
Delaina Ashley Yaun.
Paul Andre Michels.