A Message from Vice President Kimberly Hewitt Regarding the Recent Violence and Anti-Asian Hate Incidents

March 23, 2021

Kimberly Hewitt

We are deeply saddened and angered by the recent tragedy in Atlanta, Georgia where six Asian women, Soon Chung Park, Hyun Jung Grant, Suncha Kim, Yong Ae Yue, Xiaojie Tan, Daoyou Feng and two others, Paul Andre Michels and Delaina Ashley Yaun, were murdered. The mistreatment of Mario Gonzalez, husband of victim Delaina Ashley Yaun, represents another example of the deep and complex culture of racism that exists in our society. After surviving this horrendous event, police officers held Mr. Gonzalez as a suspect for four hours before he was released and informed about his wife’s fate. We recognize that this outcome was not unanticipated because Anti-Asian hate and racism exists throughout American history going back to the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 — the first and only major federal legislation to explicitly suspend immigration for a specific nationality, Japanese Relocation — Executive Order 9066 in 1942, to the present, where racist rhetoric targeting Asian people has been emboldened since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is incumbent upon all of us to educate ourselves, to step up in support of the Asian members of our community, and to speak out against hate and violence. The mistreatment, violence and marginalization of Asian members of the community is an act of violence and mistreatment against us all. Please see our resources page where we have added some additional information related to Anti-Asian racism. — March 23, 2021