MIAMI, FL – The Asian Pacific American Bar Association of South Florida (APABA) is horrified by and unconditionally condemns the murders that took place on Tuesday evening when a gunman opened fire at three businesses in Atlanta, Georgia. This disgusting act left eight people dead, including six Asian American women. Our thoughts and deepest condolences go out to the families and friends of those that tragically lost their lives. Our community is heartbroken, and we grieve with you.
Reportedly, the gunman viewed the targeted businesses as sexual temptations. It is not a coincidence that the majority of the victims Tuesday night were Asian American women. The objectification and fetishization of Asian American women are not new phenomenon.
Moreover, these murders follow a disturbing trend of increasing acts of hate against the Asian American community since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even worse, since 2021 began, the violent nature of such acts seems to be escalating. An 84-year-old man was murdered in San Francisco. A 91-year-old man was thrown to the ground in Oakland’s Chinatown. A 64-year-old grandmother was assaulted and robbed in San Jose, California. A 61-year-old man was slashed in the face with a box cutter on the subway in New York City. There have been approximately 3,800 documented attacks against Asian Americans since the pandemic began. Sadly, the real number of these acts is likely significantly higher, as many instances go unreported.
Use of divisive rhetoric like “Chinese virus” and “Kung flu” only serve to exacerbate the idea of Asian Americans as perpetual foreigners and to embolden the individuals who commit these acts. APABA continues to denounce the use of such rhetoric and the racist acts committed against the Asian American community. The perpetuation of discrimination and hate in America against Asian Americans and all minorities MUST END.
We call on all Americans, including our allies in the community, local leaders, law enforcement, and elected officials, to stand with us in not only condemning these horrific acts, but in taking action to prevent them.
How Can You Help?
- Bystander Training. We encourage participation in Hollaback’s bystander intervention workshops to stop anti-Asian American harassment and xenophobia, which are offered free of charge at: www.ihollaback.org/bystanderintervention.
- Support Asian American Community Organizations. Consider donating time or financial resources to a local organization committed to strengthening Asian American communities: nymag.com/strategist/article/where-to-donate-to-help-asian-communities-2021.html
- Report Hate Crimes/Incidents. Report any hate crimes or incidents to Stop AAPI Hate at https://stopaapihate.org, the Miami-Dade County State Attorney Office Hate Crimes Unit Hotline at 786-687-2566 and the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or https://tips.fbi.gov/. Additional resources on reporting hate crimes can be found here: www.napaba.org/page/HateCrimeResources.
- Attend a Panel. AP ABA and the Coalition of Florida Asian Pacific American Bar Affiliates will be hosting a panel to address violence against Asian Americans on Wednesday, April 28, 2021, at 6:00 PM. Registration will be available soon at www.apabafla.org/events. The Florida International University’s Center for the Humanities in an Urban Environment and the Asian Studies Program will host “I’m Not a Virus: A Teach-In on Anti-Asian I Asian American Racism” on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 at 4:00 PM, featuring a full panel of activists, scholars, and artists discussing anti-Asian racism, its history, and what we should do about it. Join via Zoom at https://go.fiu.edu/notavirus or watch the Facebook Livestream (@centerforhumanitiesfiu).
Additionally, AP ABA will be taking direct action within the coming weeks to combat the wave of anti-Asian American acts and provide support to victims and potential victims. We hope that you will join us. Racism against any group has no place in this county. Only through collective effort can we end it.
Incorporated in 2004, APABA is a nonprofit, voluntary bar organization that serves Asian Pacific American attorneys and communities in Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. The overriding mission of APABA is to combat discrimination against all minorities and to promote diversity in the legal profession.