On Tuesday, a 21-year-old White man in Atlanta killed eight people, six of whom were women of Asian ethnicity. Though police have yet to confirm the motive, the shootings are a horrific addition to a roster of recent attacks against Asian, Asian-American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) individuals that span from coast-to-coast.
Over the past year, the nonprofit group Stop AAPI Hate collected 3,795 first-person accounts of incidents ranging from racist comments to vicious assaults against this community. Additional data shows that in 2020, anti-Asian hate crimes in 16 of the country’s largest cities increased almost 150 percent over the previous year.
Hate crimes – defined by the FBI as criminal offenses “against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity” ― are not new, but the current trends are disturbing. And, given the reckless use of anti-Asian slurs promoted by some of the country’s foremost political leaders throughout the course of the covid-19 pandemic ― influencing and empowering hateful attitudes and actions in all corners of the country ― the timing of this crisis is no coincidence.
Regardless of where hate begins, however, the responsibility for ending it falls to each of us. There is no room in our society for racism. There is no excuse for actions designed to marginalize or violate the safety and security of any group or individual.
EdisonLearning stands against hate and bigotry in all its forms, including and especially the rising number of hate crimes that have targeted AAPI communities. By speaking out, we desire to make clear our opposition to those who perpetrate or enable hatred, and our unwavering support for those who are threatened and victimized.
As an organization founded on, and committed to, the promotion of opportunities for all, we understand that the pursuit of equality and equity ― in fact, the pursuit of our nation’s very ideals ― is a long and difficult, yet necessary journey. Together, we must work toward a society in which each individual of every group can live free from fear and experience the benefits of being valued, respected, and supported.
- Thom Jackson, EdisonLearning President & CEO