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As I stated after the cruel killing of Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, and George Floyd, we cannot stand idly by as our neighbors are targeted, threatened, harassed, and murdered. The widespread outcry for justice over the past year painfully reminds us that in addition to the COVID-19 pandemic, we face a much deeper and insidious pandemic within our country – racism. I demand and cry out, “STOP AAPI HATE,” while we stand in solidarity.

I condemn the escalating violence and ongoing hate directed at Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) and support those who are actively engaged in anti-racist action and serving the needs of the AAPI community. The horrific shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, on Tuesday, March 16th, that claimed the lives of eight people, six of whom were of Asian descent and seven of whom were women, exemplify the intersectional oppression that so many people face: sexism, racism, xenophobia, misogyny, classism, and beyond. I also take time to mourn the lives lost in the past week in the mass shootings that occurred across the nation.

I recognize that these murders punctuate the context of a sickening increase in anti-Asian violence, harassment, and bigotry around the country. Since March 2020, the prior administration and its supporters have relentlessly scapegoated people of Asian descent especially Chinese and Chinese Americans under the pandemic, triggering a staggering spike in reported incidents. This current trend shows how racism and xenophobia have been used to justify racist sentiments and actions against people of Asian descent. Such aggressions are not new and are embedded in a long history of racial violence and systemic oppression, targeting AAPI and marginalized communities in the United States. Hate and bias-based crimes have increased over 300% in Oregon. AAPI are the third most targeted race/ethnicity group, following Black Americans and Jewish Americans.

I am no longer going to do what we have been conditioned to do by Colonial dominant systems – be polite, courteous, and silent. I will be a part of this conversation, and I demand my humanity to be valued and dignified rather than in question. Living without fear ought to be a constitutional right that everyone can have, not just those that look like America’s Founding Fathers.

As I have in the past, today, and in the future, I stand in solidarity with the communities under attack right now. I hold space for the grief in this moment with my fellow members of the AAPI community and to take time to acknowledge, process, learn, and do our part to not repeat history once again. I will continue to further my anti-racism work, and I stand today in support of the AAPI community for the pursuit of racial equity.

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