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In solidarity with Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, we express our anger and anguish over the continued spike in hate crimes targeting the AAPI community. The senseless murders in Atlanta of eight people, six of whom were Asian and seven of whom were women, is an unspeakable tragedy. We strongly condemn this violence.
In moments like these, it is crucial to understand the intersectionality of race, gender and class at play. The increase in hate crimes targeting Asian Americans in 2020 and 2021 is alarming, and more alarming still is the fact that 68% of the victims of those crimes were women. We must acknowledge and confront how racism and misogyny intertwine to harm Asian women, especially those in marginalized jobs with little structural protection. According to a recent report, Asian American women experience harassment 2.3 times as often as Asian men—another example of an unacceptable and disproportionate burden on women.
It’s easy to draw a line between the hate speech and rhetoric from national figures in the media—especially as it relates to blame for the COVID-19 pandemic—to the uptick in violence against Asian Americans. But the nation’s history of xenophobia against Asian Americans is not new. Mass violence against Asian immigrants dates at least as far back as the mid-nineteenth century and was later codified into unjust and exclusionary laws. This country has a long, disturbing pattern of violence against not only Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, but all people of color.
As a country, we must no longer be passive, offer excuses or shift blame when discussing violence against women and people of color. We must have the hard conversations, listen to the victims and be honest about the root cause of this unacceptable pattern of hate.
At NPT, we are committed to inclusion and to standing up for what is just in our workplace and our communities. NPT’s Board of Trustees will be recommending a grant to Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta (Tax ID 27-2577567). This nonprofit organization is dedicated to protecting the civil rights of Asian Americans, Native Hawaiians, and Pacific Islanders in Georgia and the Southeast. We strongly encourage you to identify organizations that are addressing systemic racism in your community and to be vocal and active. We urge you to find ways to help make your community, and the most vulnerable within it, feel safe.
These continued, violent displays of hate and white supremacy are unacceptable. We have an obligation to condemn and combat racism and intolerance whenever we encounter it. As a nation, as a community and as individuals: We must do better.
National Philanthropic Trust, Chair of the Board of Trustees
Kinzie Capital, Founder & Managing Partner
Eileen R. Heisman
National Philanthropic Trust, President & CEO