Asian Americans Condemn Racist Violence and Call for Systemic Change in the Wake of Multiple Mass Shootings Around the Country

For Immediate Release

CHICAGO, IL — May 23, 2022 – Asian Americans Advancing Justice | Chicago issues the following statement:

Our hearts are heavy as we see anti-Asian racism and racist violence continue to rise, with multiple mass shootings reported around the country this month. We grieve with the survivors and with the families and loved ones of those killed and harmed. We are reminded again of the terrible consequences of white supremacy and structural racism. 

In Dallas, Texas, a suspect was detained on Monday for shooting and injuring three Korean American women at an Asian-run salon after repeatedly expressing anti-Asian bigotry. In Buffalo, New York, a self-identifying white supremacist suspect targeted a predominantly Black neighborhood supermarket and shot and killed ten Black community members. In Laguna Woods, California, a suspect motivated by political conflicts in Taiwan attacked an elderly Taiwanese church congregation leaving one person dead and five wounded. In downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at least 17 were wounded in a shooting which happened blocks from the arena where an N.B.A. playoff game ended hours earlier. In Chicago, a 16-year-old Black youth was killed during a large gathering in Millennium Park last week, to which Mayor Lightfoot responded with a crackdown imposing a restrictive curfew for minors.  

As Asian Americans have endured intensifying anti-Asian racism and violence with hate crimes against Asians increasing by 339 percent last year [1], we know that we are not alone. Black people in the U.S. are more likely than any other community to experience hate crimes and racist violence [2]. All marginalized communities and communities of color suffer when the root causes of violence remain unaddressed.  

To prevent violence, we must work together to address the underlying root causes through deep investment in our communities: fully-funded public schools, affordable housing, living wage jobs, high quality healthcare and mental health services that are accessible to all—crucial resources like these are what nurture and sustain healthy and safe communities. And through policy changes like the Teaching Equitable Asian American Community History (TEAACH) Act, we can create inclusive education that helps build empathy and understanding across lines of difference. 

As we remember and honor everyone we have lost, we call on our community members to come together to demand systemic change, and to get involved as we work in solidarity with all communities of color to dismantle white supremacy and racist violence in all its forms. 

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