Seattle Choruses are shocked and angered by the recent attacks against our sisters and brothers in the AAPI community. The physical violence and recent murders are rooted in racism. IT NEEDS TO STOP! We cannot be silent. Our thoughts are with the friends and families who have lost their loved ones due to this senseless hatred. To our Asian community- we see you, we love you, and we are standing UNITED with you. We are deeply angered at the rising hate crimes against the AAPI community this past year, perpetuated by negative language and stigma placed on Asians simply because COVID originated in China. This archaic and extremely racist way of thinking must end and should NOT EVER be tolerated. It is stigma and stereotyping that leads to violent acts against AAPI and other communities of color.
We are disappointed in the way that the media has handled the Atlanta spa case thus far, most notably the officer leading the case who went on air to state that these senseless deaths happened because the killer “had a bad day” and had “reached the end of his rope” in his words. These statements water down the severity of this attack and attempts to minimize the reality that this was a racially motivated hate crime towards Asian women. Time and time again we see when white males commit heinous crimes they are infantilized, shown empathy, and are often regarded as “lone wolves” or the blame is placed on a mental illness which both stigmatizes mental illnesses and distracts from the racism and prejudice that was the root of this attack. BIPOC individuals are never given this type of treatment from the media, even when they are the victims of a crime.
Our Mission: Our voices transform society through innovative and entertaining programs that build community, illuminate the experiences of LGBTQ people and their allies, expand inclusion, and inspire justice.
We cannot expand inclusion and inspire justice without consistently growing our knowledge about the experiences of the BIPOC community and actively working towards being anti-racist, both as an organization and as a community. As an organization, we are working towards this by:
· Working with our Equity Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) committee to ensure that the committee, board, and staff have access to and participate in anti-racist training and conversations
· Listening, learning, integrating and most importantly humbly taking corrective action in our efforts to dismantle our complicity in perpetuating systemic racism.
· Working towards creating an environment where BIPOC can feel safe and encouraged to share their perspectives
Some ways you can work towards anti-racism are:
· Standing against offensive racial “jokes” and negative stereotypes of BIPOC and checking your friends and family if they make troubling racial statements. Complicity and silence perpetuates white supremacy
· Voting in/supporting BIPOC individuals in leadership and government roles
· Educating yourself by reading articles and literature written by BIPOC authors
· Checking in on your BIPOC/AAPI friends and family, listening to their perspective, and providing emotional support
If you are a member of the AAPI community and need mental health resources/support during this time, below are some organizations that could provide some good resources:
The mission of the National Asian American Pacific Islander Mental Health Association (NAAPIMHA)
Asian American Psychological Association
Asian mental health collective