The recent anti-Asian violence in Atlanta follows the nearly 3,800 hate incidents against Asian American and Pacific Island (AAPI) people reported in 2020. The actual number of attacks is likely much higher, according to the nonprofit tracking group Stop AAPI Hate, which initiated the first-ever tracking of anti-AAPI hate incidents.
Below is a statement by Kathleen Rest, executive director of the Union of Concerned Scientists.
“The Union of Concerned Scientists strongly condemns the rise in violence against the Asian American and Pacific Island community in the United States. The recent murders of eight people in Georgia—six of whom were of Asian descent—is justifiably fueling fear within AAPI communities across the country.
“The rise in violence can be directly linked to racist and xenophobic language by public officials and others who label the COVID-19 pandemic the ‘China virus.’ The World Health Organization explicitly warns against naming diseases for geographic locations and ethnic groups to avoid a backlash against people due to their ethnic or religious background.
“Our country has an intolerable history of hate and violence against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders. We stand together with Asian Americans Advancing Justice Atlanta against systemic racism and violence. Violence against Asian American communities is part of a larger system of violence and racism against all communities of color, including Black, Brown and Indigenous communities, which should never be tolerated.”