March 17, 2021
Community Statement from John F. Green:
Last Thursday, President Biden used his prime-time address to the Nation to condemn the meteoric rise in hate-based attacks toward Asian-Americans amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Within one week of the President’s condemnation, however, our Nation woke up this morning to the news that several Asian women had been randomly gunned down in Atlanta by, presumably, a white supremacist. This incident, I am afraid, was all too predictable and should terrify us all.
The TEAK Fellowship mourns the loss of these eight victims, six of which are Asian women, and joins the President in his condemnation of the spike in hate-based attacks of all types and all venues directed toward Asian Americans. We are aware that these attacks are not confined to Atlanta. In our own New York City, there were 259 incidents of shunning, verbal harassment, being coughed and spat on, or physical assault reported to Stop AAPI Hate by December 31, 2020.
Calling for an end to hate-based attacks against Asian-Americans, Biden referred to the attacks as “un-American”; yet, there is a well-documented history of these “un-American” attacks going back centuries. Well before the events of last evening, we all knew that our country had taken significant steps backward in its long march toward becoming a more inclusive society. Now seeking to assign blame for our pandemic, many of us have unleashed the dark forces of hate-based violence and directed it towards “others” yet again.
This spike in hate-based violence serves to remind us that it has no border, nor geographical preference, nor expiration date. There is ample evidence to suggest that there is more violence to come. Actions taken by public figures, including elected officials and misinformation and an inaccurate portrayal by the media, can amplify any pandemic-based stigma against Asian-Americans. We also know that in times of political, social, and economic uncertainty, many of us turn to scapegoating a single race but also seek to divide one race against another.
As a multiracial organization, the TEAK Fellowship is committed to honoring each racially marginalized group in and of itself but also to building bridges between all marginalized groups. We are deeply concerned for our Asian-American students and families in particular, especially in this current climate. They are not invisible to us. We see them. We hurt when they hurt. We will continue to treat all of them with respect and affection, especially during these difficult days. They deserve no less.
John F. Green
The TEAK Fellowship
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