Photo by Isabelle Roetcisoender
On Wednesday a coalition of over 100 local and national organizations released a statement rejecting calls for further criminalization and retribution in response to anti-Asian attacks throughout the United States. The statement instead called for community-based solutions that address the root causes of racial violence.
Over 100 organizations and individuals from a national coalition of Asian American organizations 25 ally organizations representing Black, Jewish, Muslim, LGBTQ rights, among others. The statement was released by Asian Americans Advancing Justice.
“We are horrified by the continuing acts of violence against members of our Asian American communities across the country, from New York to Oakland’s Chinatown,” the statement reads. “We stand in solidarity with the survivors, victims, and their families during this challenging moment, when fear accompanies even the most basic daily experiences. We all deserve to live without the threat of violence and to feel safe in our neighborhoods.”
The coalition rejected calls for an increased police presence to end the attacks.
“The solution to violence is not more violence in the form of aggressive and discriminatory law enforcement,” the statement reads. “Instead, we need interventions and responses that address the root causes of violence and that provide culturally and linguistically sensitive services for survivors, victims, and their families.”
The statement called President Biden’s Memorandum Condemning and Combating Racism, Xenophobia, and Intolerance Against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States “a welcome step forward.” However, the organizations involved believe that more can be done on the national and local levels. They also asked for “immediate and deep investment” into Asian American communities.
Suggested solutions included: “community ambassador programs to accompany vulnerable community members home, bystander intervention training, equitable public school history curricula, cross-racial community and solidarity building, and restorative justice programs.”
The coalition said politicians, civil rights organizations, community organizers and individuals need to work together to develop “interventions and responses that address the root causes of violence and that provide culturally and linguistically sensitive services for survivors, victims, and their families.”
The statement ended by emphasizing that community-based solutions addressing systemic racism were the answer to preventing future attacks, not further criminalization.
“Disrupting and dismantling structural inequities and racism will do much more to make us safe than further criminalization and conflict,” the statement read.
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