Boston – We join millions of other voices across America today in condemning the murders of 8 people, including 7 women, 6 of them Asian, in Atlanta yesterday. We mourn the tragic loss of life, and share whatever strength we can provide to the families and loved ones of those so cruelly gunned down.
We must also acknowledge another truth. This did not happen in isolation. It joins a seemingly endless list of violent crimes against women committed by men, and is the latest culmination of a year of hateful rhetoric and actions against Asian and Pacific Islander communities in the United States from coast to coast, including here in Massachusetts. It is hate that has been fostered from the highest offices in the land, fomented in parts of the media ecosystem, and tolerated or ignored by far too many of us, even as the documented reports of anti-Asian hate incidents has risen by 150% nationwide in the past year.
It is also just one chapter in a much longer history of anti-Asian racist actions in the United States. If we as a society are to truly be anti-racist, then we must address our past of discrimination, injustice and violence against non-White racial and ethnic groups, against women, and against all those historically excluded from traditional power structures. As individuals, as communities and as a nation, we need to reflect on our own commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and the rights and safety of every person in this nation.
We have been here before. We owe it to these victims to work harder never to return here again.