We honor and grieve the lives of Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, Delaina Ashley Yaun, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng, and Paul Andre Michels. These eight individuals—six of whom were of Asian descent— were killed in heinous acts of violence last week in Atlanta. Seven of them were women. We also mourn the deaths of Angelo Quinto, Christian Hall, and Vichar Ratanapakdee, who were killed in attacks against the Asian community over the last several months.
We remain horrified, saddened, and enraged by what we saw in Atlanta. The targeted killing of Asian and Asian American women was not an isolated event—it occurred in the context of rising anti-Asian hate crimes and scapegoating throughout the pandemic. And the surge of reported hate crimes in the past year is just a fraction of this country’s long history of racism, oppression, and violence against Asians and Asian Americans.
In a country whose justice system was designed from the foundation of White supremacy, Asians and Asian Americans have been outcasted, blamed, and targeted during moments of national panic. From the 1882 Chinese Exclusion Act and the incarceration of Japanese descendants during World War II, to spikes in atrocious hate crimes after 9/11 targeting Muslims, Sikhs, and South Asians and the sharp rise of deportations in the Southeast Asian community.
The intersections between racism and misogyny also run deep, and Asian and Asian American women have long been objectified, fetishized, and hypersexualized. The 1875 Page Act banned Asian women from entering the U.S. under the justification that they might all be prostitutes, and Asian women have been disproportionately impacted during the pandemic, reporting hate crimes at 2.3 times the rate of men.
Tahirih was founded on the belief that the welfare of each of us is inextricably bound to the welfare of all. Our recognition of the oneness of our humanity inspires us to fight for the rights of immigrant survivors of gender-based violence. The obstacles in the way of realizing these rights are intersecting forms of oppression, including misogyny, racism, anti-Blackness, and White supremacy.
We reject these and acknowledge the harm that they cause. We believe that our laws and systems too often benefit those with power and privilege and must be transformed to advance gender equality, racial justice, and social equity for all. We are engaging in work to address bias in ourselves, our organization, and all around us.
As advocates for immigrant survivors, Tahirih speaks out against anti-Asian hate and stands with the Asian and AAPI community. We call out the model minority myth and the invisibilization of Asians and Asian Americans. We shine a bright light on their lived experiences—including present and past oppression, racism, and violence against their communities.