The National Consumer Law Center stands in solidarity with the Asian American Pacific Islander community in condemning last week’s hate-fueled violence in Atlanta and offers our condolences to the families and loved ones of the eight people killed. The murder of eight people, including six Asian women, comes after a sharp increase in bigotry, harassment, and violence against people of Asian heritage over the past year, fueled by racism, misogyny, and divisive rhetoric by reckless politicians. According to Stop AAPI Hate, close to 4,000 anti-Asian hate incidents have been reported since the start of the pandemic in March 2020. Over two-thirds of those incidents targeted women. And community members have faced challenges as the COVID economy forced the closure of Asian-owned businesses, many employing low-wage workers. Asian women in particular have been hit hard financially by the pandemic with many experiencing high rates of job loss, mortgage default, and other economic distress, along with their Black and Latina peers.
Yet, harassment and discrimination against Asian immigrants and Asian Americans predate the pandemic. The attacks echo a long history of xenophobic practices that include excluding Asians from the United States in the mid-1800s, incarcerating people of Japanese ancestry in internment camps during World War II while destroying their businesses and stealing their homes, organizing white supremacist violence against Vietnamese refugees, and limiting the ability of Asian Americans to work and fully participate in civic life.
NCLC remains steadfast in our commitment to advocating for policies that support Asian Americans, women, and other protected classes against discrimination. We encourage you to learn about and support organizations that fight against the harmful stereotypes, vicious rhetoric, and discrimination that fuels violence against the AAPI community. Through our work, including NCLC’s Racial Justice and Equal Economic Opportunity Project, we are advancing a just and equitable economy for all, working alongside our allies and many of you, our colleagues. And as individuals and members of the consumer law community, we will continue to eradicate hate and discrimination in our neighborhoods, workplaces, and communities.