CGRS Statement of Solidarity with AAPI Communities

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

CGRS stands in solidarity with Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and with the thousands who have courageously come together in protest against anti-Asian violence this year. We are devastated and outraged by the surge of racist violence that has terrorized AAPI communities during the COVID-19 pandemic. Our hearts are heavy this week as we mourn the deaths of eight people, including six Asian American women, whose lives were stolen in a series of horrific shootings in Georgia last Tuesday.

Since March 2020 the Stop AAPI Hate reporting center has documented nearly 3,800 hate incidents against Asians and Asian Americans. This violence can be tied directly to the racist words and conduct of political leaders who have cast blame for COVID-19 upon AAPI people, while simultaneously turning their backs on communities devastated by the pandemic. Last week’s shootings lay bare the deadly consequences of these actions, as well as the insidious racialized misogyny experienced by AAPI women in this country.

The anti-AAPI racism and misogyny at the root of this recent wave of violence is centuries old and has driven imperialist and anti-immigrant policymaking throughout our country’s history. Seven years before the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Page Act of 1875 blocked Chinese women from immigrating to the United States under the guise of preventing “lewd and immoral” behavior. This fetishization of AAPI women remains entrenched in our culture nearly 150 years later and was brutally weaponized by the perpetrator of the massacre in Georgia.

“We cannot ignore the fact that anti-Asian hate and violence disproportionately impacts women,” Sung Yeon Choimorrow, Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, said last week. “Even before the pandemic and the racist scapegoating that came in its wake, AAPI women routinely experienced racialized misogyny. Now, our community, and particularly women, elders, and workers with low-wage jobs, are bearing the brunt of continued vilification.”

CGRS calls on our communities, allies, and advocates to join us in condemning anti-AAPI racism and demanding solutions that are responsive to the needs of AAPI women, elders, and other survivors of anti-Asian harassment and violence. We encourage our community to support organizations and initiatives dedicated to empowering AAPI communities, and we urge those who experience or witness acts of hate against AAPI people to report them.

We also recognize that the past week has taken an enormous toll on our communities and share the following mental health and wellness resources for AAPI people: