|Yesterday, in Atlanta, Georgia, eight people were killed by a 21-year old gunman. Six of those who were killed were Asian, two were white. All but one of them were women. |
It’s undeniable that white nationalist violence is rising across America, particularly that which targets Asian diasporic communities. Women, in particular, face violence in our homes, in our workplaces, and in our communities. It is also undeniable that these racist acts of violence are intended to promote fear and maintain a social order where some of us get ahead and others of us get left out and left behind.
For four long years, we had a President who encouraged and facilitated hate, and fear, and looked away from racial terror, therefore condoning it. He joked about being violent toward women, he demonized Asian communities, and he told white nationalist organizations to “stand back and stand by.” Faced with no consequences, there are white Americans who are being radicalized into an agenda of hate.
While the details are still being determined, one thing is clear: violence against Asian communities is rising. According to Stop AAPI Hate, there have been nearly 3,800 reports of hate incidents targeting Asians in the last year alone.
As a Black organization concerned with building the political power of Black communities so that we can be powerful in the rest of our lives, we know all too well the effects of racism, misogyny, and being left behind by our government. Our well-being is wrapped in the well-being of our communities, and if Asian communities are not safe, we are also not safe. Our hearts are broken, but being heartbroken isn’t enough. We need action, and we need it now.
Statements are good, but decisive action is better. Calling it out is important, but changing the rules that allow this violence to proliferate is what’s needed. We are calling on the Biden-Harris administration to address this with policy and resources. The use of racial terror to intimidate or otherwise harm a community must not be tolerated. We must expand the Office of Civil Rights to address the growing threat of white nationalism to our communities and our families. We demand an accounting of white nationalist violence and a plan to address it, and we demand that our leaders forcefully and unequivocally interrupt and intervene in all acts of white nationalist violence.
Alicia and the Black Futures Lab team
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