UPTE Stands Against Hate
All of us in UPTE are deeply saddened and heartbroken by the horrific murder of eight people in Atlanta, Georgia, on Tuesday, including six Asian American women. Our condolences go out to the victims and their families.
Asian American communities around the country have been targeted and anti-Asian violence in the United States has skyrocketed nearly 150 percent since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Stop Asian American Pacific Islander Hate has recorded nearly 3,800 cases of anti-Asian discrimination in the past year alone. These killings happened amidst a global pandemic that has revealed the vulnerability most workers face in America and brought to the forefront anti-Asian racism, both of which are critical to maintaining white supremacy.
These murders were also driven by the demonization of China, where institutions from all sides are blaming a whole nation of people, and thus all people racialized in the same way, for everything from the COVID-19 pandemic to the resulting failing economy.
This is not the first time in our country’s history these communities have been subject to racial and ethnic hatred. From the Chinese Exclusion Act to Japanese Internment to targeted hate crimes, mass shootings and the disproportionate impact of incarcerations and deportations on Asian communities, anti-Asian racism has been a reoccurring injustice in our country’s history.
Despite this, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have continued to believe in the promise of America and have been leaders in movements, including the labor movement, dedicated to realizing that promise. Most recently, Asian American frontline workers have put their lives at risk to serve their communities during the COVID-19 pandemic, even as they faced the additional burden of racist attacks.
We cannot allow these attacks to continue. As union members and activists, we have the responsibility to prevent the spread of violence and hate and stand in solidarity with Asian American communities. As we mourn those who were lost to violence, we continue our efforts to build an anti-racist union so that we can stand united against the true enemies of the working class.
We stand up and show our solidarity with our Asian American and immigrant workers. Standing united against hate is the only way to begin to dismantle it.