After a 2020 marked by a world health crisis and a bitterly contested presidential election, most of us looked to 2021 to bring new hope. But in the first week of the new year, we were greeted with an attack on our nation’s Capitol, fueled by hatred and white supremacist ideology.
Over the last few weeks, since the Derek Chauvin trial began, the consequences of flawed police practices weigh on us as we learn more about the murder of George Floyd. We’ve learned that it wasn’t the 8 minutes and 46 seconds that was etched into our minds as we marched in the streets in solidarity last summer -- that in fact, it was 9 1/2 minutes that Chauvin had his knee on Floyd’s neck. And yet, we remain uncertain if the outcome of the trial will bring closure and accountability or leave us with more doubts about whether our justice system actually delivers justice.
Earlier this week, just 10 miles away from Chauvin’s trial in Minnesota, Daunte Wright, a young Black father, was killed by an officer who claims to have reached for a taser and instead pulled a gun. Just a few days later, we’re now learning that a 13 year-old Latino teenager, Adam Toledo, was killed by a police officer in Chicago.
Today, April 16, marks one month since the spa shootings in and near Atlanta, Georgia, in which a man killed eight and injured one, targeting Asian massage parlors. Six of the murdered victims were Asian women. We’ve also experienced dozens of violent attacks on Asian people across the country. Also today, we’re awaiting updates on the recent mass shooting in Indianapolis, in which many of the victims were from the Sikh community.
Communities of color in America are hurting. Before we are able to process and begin to heal from the trauma of one tragedy, another one occurs. The cumulative effect is overwhelming and distressing.
We write more statements, plan vigils and marches, demand change, and yet whatever we do often feels like throwing sandbags at a tidal wave. We carry on with our lives, dealing with daily microaggressions, and try to compartmentalize this pain.
We know we can’t give up. We know: no justice, no peace.
Our hearts go out to the families and loved ones of those whose lives have been snuffed out by racist-inspired violence. As always, we stand in solidarity with the Black community, and all communities of color. We mourn with you, and we will fight for change together.
Join us in the AAPI Democratic Caucus if you’d like to take action, educate your friends and family, and eradicate the hate. At the very least, please register to vote.