Our conversations on race must include Asian Americans
Last night, eight people were shot and killed at three separate massage parlors in Atlanta, Georgia. Six of them were Asian women.
Also last night, PBS News Hour ran a compelling segment on the growing racial violence towards Asian Americans, particularly women, since the global pandemic began just over a year ago.
While it is not yet clear whether the murders in Atlanta were racially motivated, it is completely understandable how those killings will further stoke the flames of fear for the Asian American community.
Their fear and anger needs to be a collective fear and anger for all of us. We spent much of last year protesting police brutality towards African Americans, and that conversation rightfully expanded from there to the entire system of racial inequality in America.
We don’t have to look too far into America’s past to see that when things get tough, white supremacists have no problem coming for Asians too, just as they come for Black people, Jewish people, Latinos, “foreigners” and anyone who can be targeted as “other.” This flies in the face of America’s historic salad bowl of cultures, but that history is also deep with racism, hate and violence.
As we continue to aim to build back equitably after the pandemic, we need all voices to be heard and protected.
NCRC stands with our Asian American staff, members and communities, and for racial and economic justice for all Americans.
Jesse Van Tol is CEO of NCRC.