We must, and can, take action to address racism and mass violence in our country.
We can no longer be astonished or surprised by the racism and violence that plagues this country, nor can we allow them to become so normalized that mass acts of violence virtually go unchecked. White rage and white violence has terrorized our nation long enough. White men in particular, have rarely been held accountable for the violence they unleash on others on their “bad days.” Their failure to see the humanity in others, particularly marginalized people, will always lead to bloodshed if they continue to be met with sympathy after committing horrendous acts of violence, fueled by hatred.
A weapon in a person’s hand has always signified power – the ability to assert the ultimate dominance and control, to take life. Unfortunately, this truth coupled with white rage has only led to mass white supremacist acts of violence from the founding of this country to today. For the sake of all of us, we must condemn and hold accountable those that would seek to destroy any of us. Violence against any of us is violence against all of us.
We have to be clear: mass shootings and white violence go hand-in-hand to uphold white supremacy. The recent mass shooting in Atlanta is a prime example of this. Our country is suffering from an epidemic of mass shootings, and unless we address the root cause of this violence – white supremacy, the epidemic will continue. We need more than thoughts and prayers, we need accountability.
The xenophobia and Asian hate that fostered the devastating shooting in Atlanta are deplorable. We stand in solidarity with the AAPI community as they grieve the tragic losses of Hyung Jung Grant, Xiaojie Tan, Delaina Ashley Yaun Gonzalez, Daoyou Feng, Paul Andre Michels, Yong Ae Yue, Sun Cha Kim, Soon Chung Park. We condemn the rise in Asian and Asian American hate that has plagued the U.S. for decades, and that has been amplified by the COVID-19 pandemic over the last year, leading to 3,800 incidents of violence and counting. We unequivocally decry the racist and sexist undertones of white supremacy that continues to fetishize Asian women, and call for broader support to decriminalize sex work and an acknowledgement of the negative impact on massage parlor workers, whether or not they are sex workers. We empathize with the insurmountable suffering endured by attacks on elders in the Asian community, who are held most sacred. We continue to hold the AAPI community with support and care, during this horrific time of mourning and grief in the aftermath of recent events, and we stand in solidarity with Asian organizers who reject the call for increasing policing as a response to this violence, as we know it doesn't make us safer, and increases systemic violence in our communities.
And even as we still reel with the pain of this loss, we are called on now to grieve, too, for those killed in Boulder, Colorado, in what is one of several mass shootings in the month of March alone. We know that the systems white supremacy and male supremacy normalize and underlie this kind of violence and that only systemic change will ultimately eradicate it. We recognize the importance of collective grief and healing at this time. We also hold deeply to our core, the fight to dismantle systems that make us feel separate from each other, systems rooted in white supremacy and patriarchy. Systems like capitalism, which leads many people to see others as objects rather than fellow human beings. And systems like police departments and prisons, which have proven time and time again that they don’t keep us safe, and ultimately have a greater impact on people of color than the white men who purchase semi-automatic weapons to commit mass acts of violence.
Policing does not produce safety, community does. It is in these times that we must all rely on one another, and stand in solidarity against our common enemy: White supremacy and patriarchy.