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JLC Condemns Anti-Asian Violence in Wake of Killings in Atlanta-Area Spas

March 23, 2021 - The Jewish Labor Committee joins in solidarity with those who condemn the killing of eight women at Atlanta-area spas, six of them Asian American and Pacific Islanders, one week ago. We extend our condolences and sympathy to the families of those who were murdered. And, in this time of escalating hate crimes, we extend a message of solidarity to the Asian American and Pacific Islanders, our neighbors, friends and fellow workers, across the United States.

The statistics are sobering, and yet we know that this kind of crime is seriously under-reported. That a disproportionate amount of these vicious attacks against Asian American and Pacific Islanders are against women, only adds to the crisis confronting so many broken families and grieving communities.

The massive increase in anti-Asian violence during the past year comes at a time when white supremacist propaganda has been pumped out in record amounts. Shamefully, it has been aided, abetted and stoked by repeated comments by former president Donald Trump and his supporters.

That Asian American and Pacific Island workers and their families feel, and indeed often are, unsafe at work and in the street is appalling. It is part and parcel of a larger trend of racism expressed in diverse ways, from hate crimes to “jokes” and subtle slurs. This must be condemned from the highest political offices to the most local, from pulpits, in the press, in schools, and around the dinner table. That President Biden and Vice President Harris have both spoken out forcefully to condemn violence against Asian American and Pacific Islanders is to be lauded. But much more needs to be done.

Asian American and Pacific Islander communities feel targeted, and they are. They need to be supported, to be listened to, and to be respected and acknowledged as valuable members of our multi-ethnic, multi-cultural society.
The ugly underbelly of American culture that is not new, that surfaces with violence and bigotry against Asian American and Pacific Islanders, Blacks, Latinx, Jews and other minorities, must be exposed, and delegitimized. Those who express hatred and prejudice must be met not with silence, but with condemnation. As Jews, we know all too well what this can lead to; with our allies, we have fought it before. That fight must continue.