From the The Asian Pacific Islander Student Alliance:
Dear North community,
Following the recent attack on several spas in Georgia that resulted in the deaths of eight people, six of whom were Asian American women, it is necessary to address and condemn this kind of hate. Although the government and media do not want to label this a hate crime, it is hard to believe that it wasn’t racially motivated when the perpetrator traveled to 3 different spas (which tend to be Asian owned) and killed mostly Asian women. As an AAPI community, we are grieving and processing these murders and our thoughts and love go out to the families who have been affected by this horrendous attack.
Sadly, this anti-Asian violence is nothing new. In the past year, there has been a 150% increase in anti-Asian violence nationwide. While many of these attacks aren’t classified as hate crimes, we don’t see it as a coincidence that COVID-19 has been repeatedly referred to as “china virus” or the “kung flu” by high ranking government officials. This rhetoric has heavily influenced the anti-Asian sentiment in this country causing a large spike in violence against the Asian American community. The attack in Georgia and other anti-Asian attacks are fueled by white supremacy and carried out by white supremacists. As a community and society, we need to acknowledge this in order to condemn this violent behavior.
As a community, we can take actions to heal the wounds created by these violent incidents, that are maintained by oppressive structures. While this is not a simple task, actions like checking in on your AAPI friends and family, go a long way. Speaking out against these violent attacks goes a long way. Undoing the anti-Asian sentiment this country has manifested into American culture goes a long way in creating a safer country and society for us all. We appreciate everyone’s support during this time. To our fellow AAPI, we are grieving with you. Your pain is valid and understandable, no matter your relationship with your API identity. Feelings arising and continuing to linger are important to feel. We know that in our communities it is hard to process these emotions but we are here for you. North students and staff, APISA is a safespace for everyone. If you are struggling with processing recent events or just want to feel a sense of community, please reach out to us. We meet every Friday during block C (google meet: northapisa).
If you are interested in learning more about what you can do for the AAPI community, visit coasian.carrd.co
From Aidan Reidy, President of APISA:
My heart hurts. For the past year, every time I’ve seen a new hate crime against the AAPI community, specifically our elders, I’ve felt a deep pain in my chest and swelling in my throat. I have to remind myself that this anti-Asian rhetoric is nothing new to America. Xenophobia is ingrained into this country like every other form of oppression. We are living on land that was stolen and exploited, living in a society built on the backs of enslaved Africans, and benefiting from the hard work of the Latinx community everyday. The past month has been especially hard to process because it took a terrorist attack and massacre of working class Asian American women to gain widespread support for our community. While this support is truly beautiful, there is still a lingering pain knowing that so many of us had to be killed or injured for this issue to be confronted. I’m emotionally exhausted, and I know that this feeling will not be going away anytime soon.
While it is easy to feel stuck in this pain, we need to shift to proactive thinking so this pain is no longer normalized. I have recently been reminded of the power of intersectionality and the strength that solidarity carries. The fight for liberation for any group in this country cannot be done alone. Allyship and solidarity are the keys to dismantling the oppressive systems we all live under. This will not happen overnight, but I am hopeful that with each day of fighting against these oppressive structures, we are one step closer to liberation and farther from the heartache. I appreciate the support the AAPI community has received recently; it truly is touching and means so much. I want to continue seeing this support, not only for the AAPI community but any marginalized group, even after our pain is no longer trending.
Hi! I’m Aidan Reidy. I’m a senior at North High School and plan to attend Colorado College in the fall. I am the founder and President of North’s Asian Pacific Islander Student Alliance and have been involved with student leadership since my freshman year. I helped create North’s APISA to give API students a safe space where we can explore our API identities in the context of attending North.