Neighborhood Partnerships stands with our AAPI neighbors against the white supremacist hate crimes you have experienced in the last week, during the past year, and throughout generations of this nation’s history. We recognize these attacks as symptomatic of systemic issues. We stand with you against bigotry and xenophobia, histories of legal discrimination, and individual acts of violence.
The Atlanta shootings follow a year of rising anti-Asian attacks. The Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at California State University in San Bernardino found that, from 2019 to 2020, hate crimes decreased by 7% overall – while anti-Asian hate crimes rose by 149%, and by 833% in New York City. This has been severely under-reported in the media. The silence has been loud. We could have seen this coming. White America has been here before, and could have done more to stop it.
We also recognize the intersections here of race, gender, class, and sex work – a topic often misunderstood due to stigma. To quote Red Canary Song, an Asian-American sex worker advocacy group in New York:
“Whether or not they were sex workers or self-identified under that label, we know that as massage workers, they were subjected to sexualized violence stemming from the hatred of sex workers, Asian women, working class people, and immigrants. […] We see the effort to invisibilize these women’s gender, labor, class, and immigration status as a refusal to reckon with the legacy of United States imperialism.”
We don’t know the personal stories of those killed, but we do know their murderer struggled with hatred of women in the adult industry, and he viewed them as adjacent to it. We allow him to set the tone if we further stigmatize this possibility through silence.
We know that our culture targets BIPOC women with fetishization and violence, and targets AAPI women with exoticization and violence in ways that often intersect with US imperialism. BIPOC sex workers are subjected to all of this to a greater degree.
In 2021, bigoted violence like this should not be happening. If we wish to stop it, we must name and denounce all its possible causes. The individuals killed are owed justice for all potential factors in their murder. The dignity and respect owed to them is intrinsic to their humanity. Respectability politics cannot obfuscate any part of the hate that may have caused these deaths.
We name and denounce racism and xenophobia against AAPI communities; misogyny and sexual violence; and the specific intersections where Asian women are targeted. We continue to work as an organization to act as allies in dismantling systems of oppression, white supremacy, misogyny, class inequality, and structural violence that exists in our society. We also name and remember the individuals who were robbed of their lives.
Yong Ae Yue
Soon Chung Park
Hyun Jung Grant (maiden name Kim)
Delaina Ashley Yaun
Paul Andre Michels
- Hate Crime Statistics: https://www.csusb.edu/sites/default/files/FACT%20SHEET-%20Anti-Asian%20Hate%202020%203.2.21.pdf
- Red Canary Song Quote: https://www.instagram.com/p/CMkilGODKPo/
Guest post by Erica Maranowski