The Justice and Inclusion Team condemns all violent and racist incidents that target Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, including the March 16, 2021 killings in Atlanta. And while it’s easy to say that this is a horrific crime that happened far away, the truth is that this sentiment against our Asian-American siblings is in our own state and our own backyard.
More than 3,800 racist incidents were reported on the Stop AAPI Hate website in the past year alone. Minnesota is the 15th among all states for reports of racial incidents against Asian Americans, a statistic that should make all of us both outraged and distraught.
A March 18 Star Tribune article reported several incidents targeting Asian-Americans in the past year. A woman in Bloomington woman was walking on a trail and was attacked after racial slurs were hurled at her. A family in Austin found the words "China Virus" burned in their lawn. A couple in Shakopee was followed out of a store by a man who shoved the husband and yelled that they should "take the coronavirus and leave.”
More than 800 people attended a virtual meeting on March 24, 2021, held by the Asian Minnesota Alliance for Justice. They discussed how to unite a community against hate crimes and how to report such incidents. Violence is on the rise, but so is activism in support of our Asian-American friends and neighbors.
As Christians, we stand by our Asian/Pacific Island neighbors and friends, following the example of Jesus in welcoming the strangers and treating others with respect and dignity without regard to the color of their skin or their religious beliefs. Let us see this as a wake-up call to stand up against a rise in violence against the Asian-American community and against all violence in general.
Today, March 26, 2021, is a virtual national day of action and healing to “Stop AAPI Hate." What can you do? The Asian American Day of Action encourages you to use the hashtag #StopAAPIHate to share your commitment against hate. You can also take part in a worldwide vigil at 6:30 p.m. CDT with this toolkit. Perhaps most importantly, you can also reach out to your friends, coworkers, and family who may be impacted. Ask how they are doing. Ask what you can do to help. Support local Asian-owned business in our community. And, if you need to learn more about Asian-American experience, then StandwithAsians.
The Justice and Inclusion Team will hold a discussion and/or larger event on this topic during the month of May, which is also Asian Pacific Heritage Month. But don’t wait until May to stand against hate.