The Massachusetts Black and Latino Caucus stands, not only with our AAPI colleagues, but with each and every member of the AAPI community in Massachusetts and beyond. We recognize that Tuesday’s lethal hate crimes in Atlanta do not reflect a sudden surge in AAPI hate but a longer, more insidious increase in anti-Asian hatred and violence that has only been made more visible during the pandemic. While exacerbated by the pandemic, the history of this hatred is long: it extends back to 19th century massacres of Chinese-Americans, the suspension of immigration and naturalization for Chinese, Filipino, Korean, and Indian immigrants through federal exclusion laws, and includes the internment of Japanese-Americans. This history also reaches the present 3,795 incidents reported to the Stop AAPI Hate Center between March 19, 2020 – February 28, 2021 and each instance of verbal and physical violence that remains unreported.
While anti-Asian harm can appear as overt physical violence, it more often exists in verbal harassment and slurs that eternalize corrosive stereotypes such as the model minority myth that often leave those of the Asian diaspora overlooked. We share in a collective responsibility to journey inwards and address any implicit bias which we may carry; left unchecked, ignorance festers into cycles of hatred that perpetuate cycles of harmful exclusion, slurs, and physical attacks. The MBLLC understands this well, having been formed to address the systemic manifestations of white supremacy. Our own lived experiences with racism and xenophobia lead us to understand that the most powerful response to weaponized intolerance is solidarity and collective action.
Community necessitates that each of its members feels accepted, valued, heard and protected. No level of covert or overt ignorance serves a community while violence merely erodes it. All of us who assert that Black Lives Matter must also do the work to Stop Asian Hate. Bias, discrimination and hatred needn’t reoccur in a perpetual inter-generational cycle so long as we work to meaningfully intervene.
MBLLC log posts are curated by the Caucus Executive Director.