special statement – March 18, 2021
On Tuesday, March 16, eight lives, six of whom were Asian American women, were murdered in a series of spa shootings in the state of Georgia.
YWCA Columbus is deeply saddened by the loss of life as a result of violence that occurred earlier this week. As details about the motivations behind the shooting are still being uncovered, this tragedy has unfolded amidst an alarming surge in hate incidents perpetrated against the Asian/American Pacific Islander community. We can attribute this rise in hate incidents and harassment to xenophobia, COVID-19 racism, and white nationalism. We also know that these instances are often under-reported. And this is not new.
Our country has a history of enacting laws and policies to discriminate against those of Asian descent. Asian Americans have long been considered a threat to a nation that promoted a whites-only immigration policy. As an organization with a mission to eliminate racism, the YWCA Columbus denounces racism wherever we find it. We call on policymakers to not only investigate the rising tide of hate crimes and incidents in the US, but to take swift action on common sense solutions like the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act and the NO Hate Act. We join our allies in the racial justice and gender equity communities in demanding justice for the AAPI community. And we call on all Americans to resist ill-informed, biased perspectives about Asian Americans and all people of Asian descent, and to be active bystanders if you see instances of harassment occurring. We belong to each other. And we all deserve to feel safe in the communities we call home. YWCA Columbus will not rest until peace, justice, freedom, and dignity is achieved for all.