04/08/2021 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 04/08/2021 13:00
In light of the dramatic rise in anti-Asian violence within the past year, the D.C. State Board of Education unequivocally expresses its solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community and condemns all manifestations of violence, racism, misogyny, and xenophobia against the AAPI community. These acts of violence are neither isolated, nor born solely from the racialization of COVID-19-they draw on a much broader and complex history of exclusionary policies that have treated Asian Americans as perpetually foreign, from the burning of Chinese immigrants' homes in the Tacoma Riot of 1885, to the removal of Filipino immigrants and the separation of Filipino families with the Filipino Repatriation Act of 1935, and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II.
Since March 2020, there have been almost 3,800 anti-Asian hate incidents reported nationally with 140 of those reported locally in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Among the trends in data, women reported hate incidents 2.3 times more than men. This statistic is even more sobering after the mass shooting in Atlanta, Georgia, where three Asian-owned businesses were targeted, and six of the eight victims were working-class women of Asian descent. On March 16, 2021, Suncha Kim, 김선자, 69; Hyun Jung Grant, [김]현정, 51; Soon Chung Park, 박순정, 74; Yong Ae Yue, 유영애 , 63; Xiaojie Tan, 谭小洁, 49; Daoyou Feng, 冯道友, 44; Delaina Ashley Yaun, 33; and Paul Andre Michels, 54 were senselessly murdered. The perpetrator's claim to 'eliminate temptation' echoes language of the 1875 Page Act, which labeled Asian women as 'lewd and immoral' and effectively prevented them from immigrating to the United States. As we send our deepest sympathies to the families of the victims, we cannot ignore the structures and systems that have dehumanized and demonized Asian Americans nor the intersections of racism and misogyny that continue to place a compounded burden onto AAPI communities.
The State Board calls on and commits to:
To all AAPI students, families, educators, and school staff: we hear you. Your safety and well-being are important. You are important. We are committed to improving our educational standards and policies to ensure that our schools are welcoming, safe, and inclusive for all, and ultimately promote equity and excellence in education.