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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: [email protected]

February 11, 2021

Atlanta, GA —The National Association of Asian American Professionals unequivocally condemns the recent unprovoked attacks on elderly Asian Americans, bullying of youth in K-12 and higher education, and the escalating anti-Asian discrimination since the start of the pandemic. We want to express our sympathy to all who have suffered racist and xenophobic acts, and the fear, frustration, or injustice that surround them.

In just the past few weeks, the Asian American community has learned of the death of Vicha Ratanapakdee, a 84-year old Thai-American in San Francisco who was violently shoved to the ground, a public assault of a 61-year old Filipino-American man, Noel Quintana, during his commute to work on the New York City subway, and several  other examples of  attacks which have happened since the beginning of the pandemic.

These incidents are tragic and heartbreaking, but they are not new. They are the result of the hostile, xenophobic climate created by scapegoating Asian communities for the pandemic and the product of decades of systematic neglect and structural racism. Our elders are vulnerable and isolated by poverty, gentrification, housing instability, and the lack of in-language, culturally-sensitive resources. Perpetrators of all ages and races are cowards for targeting elders and need to be brought to justice.

NAAAP leaders will not be silent bystanders to hate crimes.  While NAAAP’s primary mission centers around leadership and professional excellence, those tenets of our mission implies speaking out for the safety and well being of our members,  families, friends and loved ones, and standing up for visibility, inclusion, and justice.

NAAAP encourages the Federal, state and local authorities, the media, and all organizations, and especially members of our own community to be proactive and vocal with Asian experiences, stories, and conversations. The longer our community chooses to remain silent and invisible, the longer these acts of racism and violence will continue to be normalized, which is unacceptable.

We also recognize that the pain and loss that Asian Americans are experiencing is not isolated from the suffering of other communities of color. We must proactively work together towards finding justice for members of all communities, while coming together to act as a unified, humane people.

 

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