Statement on Addressing Anti-Asian Violence and Hate
March 24, 2021
We grieve and stand in solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander community against the ongoing anguish of racism in our shared land. We are reminded once again — with painful heartache — that the history and current experience of racist hatred in our country extends far beyond Black and White.
In the current crucible of racial reckoning in a world of COVID-driven fears, the damaging and deadly instances of race-based, sex-based, and economic violence demand that we call them out and that we stand together against them. Standing in solidarity with targets of violent hatred — people of color, women, the poor, or the powerless — is our individual and collective duty as human beings.
The massacre of seven women — six of them Asian — and one man at three separate Asian establishments in the Atlanta area is the latest tragedy in a prolonged period of increasing anti-Asian rhetoric and violence. In the last year, anti-Asian hate crimes increased by 150%. Including the Chinese Exclusion Act in the late-19th century to the unconscionable internment camps during World War II, when 120,000 Japanese-Americans were imprisoned for no reason other than their ethnicity, the U.S. has had a sad and long history of hatred and discrimination against Asians.
The National Health Care for the Homeless Council is committed to standing against racism. What all forms of racism have in common is devaluing groups of people who are different and viewing them as “other.” That makes it possible to economically exploit them, hate them, attack them violently, and even kill them. This same mentality leads to people of color being drastically overrepresented among those experiencing homelessness.
Rejecting our sameness as human beings leads to the violation of the poor and the powerless in our communities — most especially in communities of color. The entire National Health Care for the Homeless community is guided by the simple wisdom expressed by writer Maxine Hong Kingston: “In a time of destruction, create something.” We will commit to working to create an America where all people are safe. Until all of us are safe, none of us are.
Reflections from the HCH Community
San Francisco Community Health Center, formerly known as Asian and Pacific Islander Wellness Center, has always fought against HIV-related stigma, homophobia, transphobia, racism, misogyny, and hate. The horrific acts of anti-Asian hate and violence across our country, including the massacre in Atlanta, are disgusting and sickening. It breaks my heart and shakes me to my core to see our massage parlor workers targeted. Our elders are being targeted. Our entire Asian community is being targeted. We must continue to dismantle the ugly structures that keep white supremacy in place. We must vote. We must continue to march and rally. We must do everything we can to stop these acts from ever happening again.
— Lance Toma, LCSW, Chief Executive Officer, San Francisco Community Health Center
Despite its imperfections, and the work still to come, I love this country, and believe it the best in the world. I love the progress and yearning towards liberty, justice and equality. I cherish each American’s character and difference. And because I love so much, the hate hurts so much. An attack on what a person looks like, or has in their heart, or whom they love, is an attack on America. If we are striving to be more perfect, then suffering at the hands of a fellow American would be suffered by all, not only for our humanity, but also for our union.
— Van Yu, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Center for Urban Community Services, Janian Medical Center and NHCHC Board Member
Key Resources for Further Reading