February 15, 2021 - Rapid Response Statement on the recent violence against APIA communities
On January 28th, 84-year-old Vicha Ratanapakdee, a Thai American, was murdered while on his morning walk in the Anza Vista neighborhood of San Francisco. On February 3rd, a 64-year old Vietnamese grandmother was assaulted and robbed in San Jose in broad daylight. That same day, Noel Quintana, a Filipino-American, was slashed across the face on a subway in Manhattan.
These deliberate and targeted acts of violence against Asian/Pacific Islander Americans (APIA) are part of a long history of racism that threatens our communities. APIA elders are particularly vulnerable and are now being attacked, physically and verbally, more so than ever since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. According to the Stop AAPI Hate National Report, over 2,000 anti-APIA incidents have been reported since early 2020, which does not account for the number of unreported and ignored cases.
APIA communities such as those in Oakland, CA are expecting a rise of robberies and burglaries ahead of the Lunar New Year celebration. The silence of the mainstream media exacerbates the model minority myth--Asians are assumed to be a monolith, “well-behaved,” and generally wealthier, healthier, and more educated--erasing concerns that many of us face: economic suffering and disproportionate mortality from COVID; mental health crises and stigma; and racist violence and police brutality. In response to these acts of anti-Asian violence, there have been calls from within our community for increased policing and punitive measures. While we firmly advocate for the protection of our communities, we emphasize that increased policing is harmful both to our own communities (ie the recent murder of Christian Hall, post-9/11 policing of South Asians) and those of our Black and brown siblings. Instead, we must invest in community-based interventions.
APAMSA denounces these and all acts of violence against our community, and we oppose racism in all its forms. Additionally, APAMSA reaffirms our calls for better reporting of and prevention against anti-APIA hate incidents as part of any anti-racist policy. We urge our members to both amplify and condemn anti-Asian violence and interrupt and call out anti-Black and all forms of racism. In this time of crisis, we urge our allies to show solidarity with APIA communities by speaking out against all forms of anti-APIA aggression and demanding our policymakers to pass inclusive and comprehensive anti-racist policies that not only address the concerns of APIA communities but those of all marginalized peoples.
Your APAMSA National Board
Stop the AAPI Hate Incident Form: https://stopaapihate.typeform.com/to/zhMP3fUx
Asian Americans Advancing Justice Incident Form: https://www.standagainsthatred.org/report
Volunteer with the Oakland Chinatown Community Stroll: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/12Re9XS3_MlazkZ6DvhAhhtJ3zjJBUiYshK-HqAAecpM/viewform