MuslimARC Solidarity with Asian Communities Statement
On March 16th, 2021, a gunman killed eight people at three different spas in North Georgia. Six of the victims were Asian American, and seven of them were women. This mass shooting occurred during a time when Asian American communities have faced escalating hate crimes. This white supremacist misogynist attack exposes gendered violence that Asian women have endured for generations.
According to Stop AAPI (Asian American Pacific Islanders) Hate, nearly 3,800 hate incidents were reported against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders nationwide over the last year. Asian American media activists have noted that the spike in crimes is often underreported. The climate of anti-Asian hate comes from the long history of white supremacy and systemic racism targeting Asian Americans. At the core of this violence is systemic racism, which targets Native, Asian, African, Latino communities.
As we mourn, we are calling for a community care response. We must continue to show up for one another. We condemn xenophobic rhetoric and caution against discourse that creates hierarchies of oppression. In the past, our communities have been pitted against one another. Our aim is to build safety and to bolster our resilience so that we can build a world where we are all safe and can thrive no matter our ancestral origins or how we pray.
Actions We Can Take During This Difficult Time
Acknowledge, Grieve, and Breathe. Acknowledge that we are mourning. At minimum, we can hate this with our hearts. The pain of white supremacy impacts us all uniquely. Take a moment (or a few moments) to sit with the many reactions you may be having about this news. No feeling or reaction is "right" or "wrong." Acknowledge if it feels hard to engage with the news and breathe and grieve the eight lives lost.
Learn. Study the history of Asian American communities, both globally and in the Americas. Begin to do the work to learn more about the history of anti-Asian racism in this country and U.S. Imperialism. Read articles, watch documentaries, and order or check out books from your local library.
Center and Hold Space. Now is the time to hold space for your Asian American peers and friends who have been coping with the trauma of rising hate crimes and discrimination due to anti-Asian rhetoric from the previous administration and general society. Learn the art of holding space and centering those who are experiencing trauma right now. Centering means that we may need to develop the skills of resilience in order to support Asian Americans who have faced generations of mobs deportations, displacement, incarceration, and state-sponsored violence.It helps to recognize that individuals experiencing trauma may not have the correct words or perfect framing as they proces. Namira Islam’s Modifying Silk Ring Theory for Allyship helps provide a framework for centering those facing trauma and developing systems of support so that we can manage our emotional and material needs.
Donate. Show your support to grassroots Asian led organizations. They are building networks of safety and responding to community-based needs. Donate to Vigilant Love and Stop AAPI Hate. For a more comprehensive list, please visit this article in People Magazine: Violence Against Asian Americans Continues: How You Can Help the AAPI Community.
Connect. A way that we can be true allies is by creating and fostering relationships with the AAPI communities in this moment. Listen to the voices of the most impacted during this time. We must stand in solidarity with them and be advocates. You can also sign up for a comprehensive bystander training run by Advancing Justice.
Pray. This is the time to honor the victims. Say their names. They were souls. Pray for the victims, pray for their families, and all those who are targeted because of their perceived race or gender.
Commit. To counter xenophobic and anti-Asian rhetoric, learn comprehensive bystander training, and bolster your solidarity efforts. Check out the resources below.
Therapy and Support Resources:
Virtual Support Group (DC/Maryland ONLY)
Pay as you wish Group Therapy (California ONLY) _ @laichientherapy
Racial Trauma Toolkit (Boston College)