Today marks the first anniversary of the Atlanta spa shootings. Civil rights organizations, community members and politicians have issued statements of remembrance.
Stop AAPI Hate, a non-profit organization that records incidents of hate and discrimination against Asians in America, issued a statement on Twitter saying it remains, “heartbroken for their families. And for our AAPI communities in Atlanta and throughout the U.S.”
The Japanese American Citizen’s League acknowledged the violence women of color in particular face.
“The murders that took place in Atlanta are a stark reminder of the dehumanization and violence that women, especially women of color, have long endured,” JACL said in its statement. “The damaging stereotypes and harmful misconceptions that exist in our society perpetuate adverse attitudes that oppress and minimize women of color. Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) women have been subjected to maltreatment for centuries.”
Congresswoman Grace Meng (D-NY) wrote in a column for USA Today that we should honor the victims “by keeping their memories alive and talking about the stories and contributions of Asian Americans.”
President Joe Biden released a statement in which he honored the strength of families and communities impacted by the shooting.
“Today, we honor the victims, their families, and the Atlanta community that has shown extraordinary resilience in the face of tragedy,” the President said in a statement.
Amongst the commemorative remarks, were also demands calling for further action to address the rise in anti-Asian violence.
“The violence against our community begins and ends with leadership. It isn’t enough to condemn anti-Asian hate,” the AAPI Victory Fund, an organization focused on mobilizing AAPI voters, said in a statement. “We must actively call on our civic leaders for meaningful action to protect and secure all vulnerable communities.”
SEARAC, a civil rights organization dedicated to empowering Southeast Asian Americans, called for more community investment.
“On this incredibly painful anniversary, we acknowledge the lives lost in the Atlanta spa shootings and the family members, friends, and communities impacted by that event,” said Quyen Dinh, Executive Director of SEARAC. “Today, one year later, Southeast Asian Americans continue to navigate the fear and violence of rising anti-Asian hate, including recent murders in New York City and Albuquerque and a brutal attack on an elder in Yonkers. We demand investment into community-based and community-led solutions. We keep us safe, and it is well past time that our federal, state, and local governments fully supported AAPI health, safety, and healing.”
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