NACPM acknowledges the depth of fear, pain, heartbreak and trauma suffered by the Asian and Pacific Islander community this past week with the murder of eight people, including six Asian women, in Atlanta. We decry the escalation of racist attacks that directly target Asian and Pacific Islander communities. Since the COVID-19 pandemic was declared a year ago, almost 4000 anti-Asian hate crimes have been reported, an increase of 150%, with 68% of these attacks perpetrated against Asian women.Scapegoating Chinese people for COVID-19 by national and local leaders has fueled this escalation, but racist and gender-based violence against Asians is rooted in white supremacy endemic in our society’s structures that undergirds all racial, gendered and classist oppression in the U.S.
American history cannot be told without recounting the hundreds of years of history and policies that failed to protect Asian people from the many forms of violence and oppression suffered by minoritized peoples in this country. This history includes murders, lynchings, imprisonment, exile from their communities, incarceration in internment camps, and exclusion from immigration and citizenship. Wars and globalization in Asia driven by American capitalism have uprooted people in multiple countries and torn families apart. The long history of war and colonization also contributes to the ongoing sexual exploitation of women in these countries and the continued fetishization and gender-based violence perpetrated against Asian women in this country.
NACPM stands with the Asian and Pacific Islander community and with advocates from and allies of this community. We denounce the unconscionable racism that continues to kill, hurt, harm and destroy human lives. We call for social and political change, for protection of all in the Asian and Pacific Islander community, and for all of us living in America and especially the midwifery community to stand up to hatred and bigotry. President Biden and Vice-President Kamala Harris, the first woman vice-president in the U.S. and the first of Asian descent, in visiting Atlanta this week to offer solace, declared, “Hate can have no safe haven in America” and that “Silence is complicity”. We will not be silent and will continue to fight for the right, safety, and protections of all those who have been historically excluded and minoritized. We see you, we love you and we stand with you.