The murders of eight individuals in Atlanta yesterday—six of whom were of Asian descent—are yet another horrifying reminder of the anti-Asian racism that is plaguing our nation and city. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the victims, whose names we remember: Delaina Ashley Yuan, Paul Andre Michels, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, Julie Park, Park Hyeon Jeong, and two thus far unnamed.
While anti-Asian policies, violence, and language are not new, recent rhetoric around COVID-19 has led to an increase in hate crimes against those of Asian descent. Since the beginning of the pandemic, nearly 3,800 incidents against Asians have been recorded, 503 of which have taken place in 2021 alone. Attacks against women make up a disproportionate share of these hate-crimes, which have often been incidents of verbal harassment, shunning, and physical assault. All of this is yet another deadly consequence of the sin of white supremacy.
To our Asian friends, siblings, and neighbors who may be grieving, scared, or angry this day, we see you and stand in solidarity with you.
At our annual Charge Conference in December, our church community adopted an anti-racist statement committing ourselves to the ongoing work of anti-racism (can be viewed at paumcnyc.org/antiracism). We once again call ourselves to interrogate our personal and collective biases, examining the language we use and the stereotypes we perpetuate in light of anti-Asian violence and harassment. As Christ’s disciples in this world, we reaffirm our calling to bring about a more just and equitable society for all. Rather than being passive bystanders, we recommit ourselves to the holy work of actively confronting racism and injustice in whatever forms they present themselves.
Rally Against Hate on Sunday, March 21st at 1:00pm (Columbus Park, NYC)
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