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Attacks on the Asia/Pacific Islander Community

A Message from Advocates President & CEO, Diane Gould

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Diane Gould, LICSW
Advocates
February 22, 2021

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic in early Spring last year, Human Rights groups across the country have noticed a pattern of targeted hate crimes against Asian Americans. Recently released data confirmed that the number of racist incidents against the Asian American community has indeed skyrocketed.

Recent reports include the murder of an 84 year old Thai man walking in his San Francisco neighborhood; a subway attack in New York City in which a 61 year old Filipino man was slashed across the face with a knife; and a number of assaults targeting older Asian Americans in California and New York.

Massachusetts has reported 67 incidents (likely under-reported) of verbal and physical assaults, only a small number of which would qualify for prosecution under most laws against hate crimes. Attorney General Maura Healey is co-sponsoring legislation to reform the state’s hate crime statute to expand the law.

As we celebrate the Lunar New Year, these news stories are particularly heartbreaking. What is supposed to be a time of celebration and togetherness for millions of people around the world has been marred by these senseless acts of violence.

President Biden has signed an executive condemning attacks against Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) persons, families, and communities, and directed the Department of Justice to tackle the problem more aggressively.  In his words, "It is up to all of us…to come together and immediately support victims and families affected by these incidents, and work together to create long-lasting solutions that empower our communities with resources, support and education.”

At Advocates we condemn all forms of racism, hatred and oppression.

I urge all of us to stand in solidarity with Asian American colleagues and friends; to speak up in the face of injustice in all its forms; to take care of each other in every way we can; and to continue to seek solace and strength in The Advocates Way.