Statement by the Executive Team on Hate Crimes against Asian Americans
The news of yet another mass shooting filled us at HealthRIGHT 360 with sadness and outrage at the eight lives lost to gun violence at the hands of a white man in Atlanta; six of the victims were Asian women. This crime is a horrific example of the confluence of anti-Asian racism, xenophobia, misogyny, and a country that refuses to take action to curb gun violence. If the crime itself was not a brutal illumination of the issues above, the police response was ever more so. Watching the Sheriff’s office spokesperson say in his press briefing that the shooter was suffering from a sex addiction and “had a really bad day” was a “what the…?” moment. We work with people every day who struggle with addiction; addiction neither explains nor excuses these murders. Rather, law enforcement’s response spoke volumes about how Asian women and immigrants are viewed in this country—nameless and disposable. They are not nameless to us. HealthRIGHT 360 joins in mourning the loss of:
- Soon Chung Park, age 74
- Hyun Jung Grant, age 51
- Suncha Kim, age 69
- Yong Yue, age 63
- Delaina Ashley Yaun, age 33
- Paul Andre Michels, age 54
- Xiaojie Tan, age 49
- Daoyou Feng, age 44
HealthRIGHT 360 stands in support of their surviving loved ones and in solidarity with members of the Asian American community. Anti-Asian racism is not new in the United States. The past four years of racist and anti-immigrant policies have served as permission for anti-Asian racist behaviors and attitudes to flourish, culminating with the last President’s characterization of COVID-19 as the “China virus” and “kung flu.” The result has been evident in a dramatic increase in anti-Asian violence across the country. It pains us to hear Asian American and Pacific Islander friends and co-workers talk about asking their older parents and grandparents to stay home, not go out alone, to not take daily walks—as if we all were not suffering from loneliness, isolation, and cabin fever already.
At HealthRIGHT 360, we firmly believe that our work in community health cannot be disconnected from a larger project of community healing and social justice. We cannot hope to see our clients get well when they fear for their lives, where they are not guaranteed safety, shelter, food, dignity, freedom from police harassment. We also believe, as the incident in Atlanta illustrates yet again, when some of us are not safe, none of us are safe.
- The HealthRIGHT 360 Executive Team