We are angered and distressed by the increase in violence toward the Asian American community here in the San Francisco Bay Area, in Georgia, and across the nation. The racist murders at three spas in the Atlanta area this past week follow a harrowing trend that has deep roots in American history but has intensified since the pandemic, when President Trump weaponized xenophobic fears and incited anti-Asian sentiment for his own political campaign.
As a civil rights law firm, one of our goals is to fight racial discrimination in all parts of our society. In our lawsuit on behalf of members of the Chinese diaspora in the U.S. who use WeChat, we called out President Trump’s racist dog whistles and presented evidence from SFSU professor Russell M. Jeung explaining how the current incitement of racism directed against Asian Americans fits a sad pattern that has been repeated throughout American history: “In times of epidemic, economic downturn, and war, Asian Americans have been cast [in a negative light], that is, threats from the East to come and dominate the West.” The normalization surrounding such rhetoric is abhorrent and shameful. It must stop.
While our firm’s work has always been rooted in racial justice, there is much more to do. We welcome suggestions for how to further incorporate this mission into our legal work. We must condemn all forms of racism and discrimination. We must stand up against violence, especially when it is grounded in hate and bigotry. We must actively foster an inclusive community capable sharing in the lived experiences of one another. And as Jane Kahn taught us, we must take time to process our emotions and take care of ourselves—and each other—so that we can continue our important work.
Today, we express our collective sadness, empathy, and support for our friends, colleagues, and loved ones of Asian descent. Additionally, below are a few resources for further education and how to take action as allies.
Free virtual bystander intervention trainings organized by Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and a brochure on the same topic