One year ago, a man walked into three Atlanta-area spas and murdered 8 people, 6 of whom were Asian women. There is no doubt these spas were targeted on a basis of both deep rooted racial and gender bias. We are observing March 16 in quiet reflection in honor of the victims, the survivors, and their families.
We must recognize that hate comes in all forms from people of all backgrounds and political persuasions. At a time when the Asian-American and Pacific Islander community is experiencing an unprecedented wave of despicable xenophobic comments and violent attacks, we must stand together to face down this hatred–and show there is no room for it in our America.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, AAPI individuals have felt the brunt of this vile hate, fueled by irresponsible rhetoric and misinformation. We have watched as time and again Asian Americans have experienced continued violence, misogyny, and racism, which ultimately sustains an environment of fear and anxiety.
As American Jews, we understand how scapegoating and baseless conspiracy theories can and do lead to hate and real world violence. We stand shoulder-to-shoulder with our AAPI siblings today and every day. We must address the root causes of the violence and hate our society faces so that we all may live in safe communities. Our shared struggle is against misogyny and white supremacy–forms of hatred that shape the experiences of Asian women, immigrants, Black women, Jewish women, and all members of marginalized communities.
To root out hatred, we must confront all hatred, no matter where it comes from or who it targets. On this anniversary, we honor the lives so wrongfully taken and the families still trying to heal, and we must recommit each day to work towards dismantling systems of white supremacy and misogyny in order to build the country we want to see.