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Recognizing that we live in a world dominated by white supremacy and Anti-Blackness, Climate Justice Alliance (CJA) condemns the continued and increasing racist violence against the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community living here on Turtle Island, otherwise known as the United States. Violence against AAPI communities is not new and has been on the rise since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic as racist dis-information and rhetoric continues to spark hate crimes and violent attacks against these communities, the most recent expression being the shooting and murder of eight people in three Atlanta area spas. Six were of Asian descent, and all but one were women.
“We must fight the racist stereotypes about Asians, combined with hypersexualization of Asian women, that puts women who work in vulnerable, low-wage jobs at heightened risk from violence. Undoing white supremacy will require long-term, community-led investments so that all our communities have what they need to thrive.”– Miya Yoshitani, Asian Pacific Environmental Network
This series of events must be named for what it is – racist acts of violence carried out in the name of white supremacy in a world built on Anti-Blackness. We stand in solidarity with the Asian community to combat white supremacy and systemic racism, which is directly linked to combatting the climate crisis.
“As an Asian American born in China and raised in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, I have witnessed Black, Indigenous, and People of Color endure racial violence. I’ve grown to understand when one community is hurting, we are all hurting. The way we win is to not allow white supremacists and systemic racism to divide us. We need to send an unequivocal message that lets white supremacists know that when one of us is under attack, we are all under attack.” – Ting Ting Fu, UPROSE Lead Organizer
While there is a long history of violence and discrimination against Asian Americans in the U.S. from the Chinese Exclusion Act, to the incarceration of Japanese Americans during World War II, to surveillance targeting Muslims and South Asians following 9/11, the scapegoating of Asians by former President Trump and others during the COVID-19 pandemic has contributed to the rise of Anti-Asian violence. Data from California State University San Bernardino’s Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism reports attacks against Asian people rose by 150 percent in 2020, with places like New York seeing increases of more than 800 percent.
As the statement released by Asian Americans Advancing Justice suggests, community solutions to both white supremacy and safety are critical. This starts with community control over police and other public agencies, and community-led solutions that prioritize needs such as food, health, housing, education, and jobs. Many of CJA’s members and allies have developed strategies to ensure that solutions are community-led and intersectional – they should not be Anti-Black or pro-police.
CJA member, Communities for a Better Environment (CBE) stated, “We condemn all forms of xenophobia, anti-Asian racism, and anti-Blackness. Whether violence takes the form of environmental injustice, state-sanctioned divestment, or state-sanctioned terror, we reprehend these harms that stem from white supremacy and capitalism. CBE stands united with all those who are working to end violence against and within their communities. We will continue building cross-racial solidarity with our allies to reimagine and reinvest in long term community centered solutions.”
CJA is committed to the self-determination, liberation and right to live humanely, free from violence and intimidation, and are vehemently opposed to xenophobia and all expressions of white supremacy. Our roots are deep and grow out of the civil rights movement, from environmental justice to climate justice. Our solutions are too.