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You can fight anti-AAPI violence

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New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) strongly condemns recent anti-AAPI (Asian American and Pacific Islander) violence. The recent shooting of eight people – six of them women of Asian descent – in Atlanta has made this urgent declaration necessary. The racial and misogynist aspects of this crime cannot be ignored. Quakers cannot be silent in the face of anti-AAPI violence or allow anti-Asian bias to permeate our society.

Quakers answer the question, “what can people do?”

  • First, awareness needs to be raised about the forms and history of anti-Asian bias and violence. There needs to be broader education about the lynching and mass murder of Chinese workers in the 19th century, the ongoing stereotyping of AAPI immigrants including the hypersexualizing of Asian women, the conflating of all AAPI nationalities as having the same values and cultures, and countless other forms of ignorance and misunderstanding of Asians in America.
  • Second, anti-AAPI speech and attitudes should be called out when they are encountered. People can choose to be activists for safety, for a just society that provides full inclusion for AAPI, for a community that makes no one the “other.”
  • Third, people can prepare themselves to intervene if they witness a bias incident. This article helps to prepare people to disrupt harassment in progress: American Friends Service Committee guidance on bystander intervention (www.afsc.org/bystanderintervention)
  • Fourth, acknowledge that anti-AAPI violence is part of racism in America. The system of White Supremacy in the United States is strengthened by division among oppressed groups. To counter this system, we must encourage mutual support and unity. (Some organizations working on this are standtogethersf.org, www.tsuruforsolidarity.org, www.ihollaback.org). Until everyone is safe from violence, no one is safe.

 

Quakers believe that all people contain a divine spark

Quakers believe that the Light of the Spirit, or God, is within everyone, and we are all connected. Violence against a person is violence against God. Through the testimony of non-violence, Quakers affirm the divine Light in every human being and the need to act on the belief that truth and love can overcome ignorance and hate.

The work of anti-racism is for everyone, no matter their skin color, gender, or cultural orientation. Quakers encourage everyone to ask themselves, “how can I become more aware, how can I prepare myself to act, and what actions are mine to take?”

 

New York Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

Sent by Diane Keefe, Wilton Quaker Meeting member, on behalf of New York State, northern New Jersey, and southwestern Connecticut Quakers

6 comments

Bob Giolitto April 13, 2021 at 10:33 am

Thank you so much Friends/Quakers for calling this out. Awareness calls us to be respond and work towards all forms of racism, including those against Asian Americans.

Constitution State April 13, 2021 at 10:39 am

The “Bystander Intervention Do’s and Don’ts” you recommend is among the dumbest things I’ve ever read. Examples: “DO make your presence as a witness known”. If the perp intends to kill his victim, he will surely kill the witness too, especially if it’s a hate crime and you are of the same race as the original victim. “DON’T call the police” Sounds like a call to vigilantism. If these crimes are not reported, they will be statistically non-existent thus will not be addressed. Where do you think data comes from?
My biggest question is how you can tell the motive of a crime, unless you’re a mind reader. Is it always a de facto hate crime when an AAPI is assaulted by a person of another race? Is it ever a hate crime when a white person is assaulted by a person of another race?

Paul Cantor April 13, 2021 at 5:42 pm

“Awareness needs to be raised about the forms and history of anti-Asian bias.” Yes. Go here to learn more from Andrew Kim, an Asian American High School Student who won second prize in last year’s Kemper Human Rights Education Foundations essay contest: https://khref.org/archives/#andrewkim.

Tysen Canevari April 13, 2021 at 7:58 pm

from what they have said the killer was a sex addict and blamed the women that worked in the massage parlor. This was not Noelles day spa but the kind that are illegal here in CT. I dont think he cared if they were asian, purple, or yellow. Sad story indeed but dont make much more than that out of it.

Bryan Meek April 13, 2021 at 10:44 pm

@CS. No. Nothing is proportionate or equitable. We need more victims where some exist and even more where none exist. This is the way. Divide and conquer.

Diane marie keefe April 14, 2021 at 6:21 pm

@CS and Bryan Meek,

It is important to listen to the Asian Americans among us. I recently had a call with a young Asian American woman who told me about her experience of having a random stranger just dump a bottle of water on her on a public bus. People around her helped her dry off but she was quite shaken.
After the shootings in Georgia, she is now more concerned about her safety walking around in NYC as an Asian American woman alone. The Quakers felt a need to take a stand because many were previously unaware of how common anti Asian violence has been recently.

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