FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE - March 17, 2021

PRESS CONTACTS:

Joseph Duong - jduong@janm.org - 213-830-5690

STATEMENT: JANM GRIEVES FOR VICTIMS OF ATLANTA SHOOTINGS; URGES LEADERS TO TAKE ACTION TO END ANTI-ASIAN VIOLENCE


LOS ANGELES – In the wake of the Atlanta shootings in which eight people were killed, the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) grieves for the loss of life and condemns the killing in the strongest terms. 

While this violent crime is still being investigated, regardless of the motivation, the deadly shootings add to the already heightened sense of fear in Asian American communities across the country, as anti-Asian hate crimes have soared. 

“Violence against anyone because of their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or other characteristic is reprehensible,” said Ann Burroughs, President and CEO of JANM. “While the motivation behind this crime is still under investigation, the climate of anti-Asian racism cannot be ignored nor can the incendiary language associating Asians with the COVID-19 pandemic which has fueled more than 3,800 incidents of hate crimes against Asians in the last year.

“The consequences of this kind of language are dangerous and lethal. Our elected leaders must take substantive action to combat this as a matter of urgency,” said Burroughs. “We look forward to the outcome of the House Judiciary Committee panel that will examine the crisis on Thursday when Asian American leaders will testify about the rise in racism and violence, and how to combat the attacks.

“During the hysteria of World War II, more than 120,000 individuals of Japanese ancestry – the majority of whom were American citizens – were wrongly incarcerated in America’s  concentration camps. The parallels between the climate of anti-Asian racism in 1942 and the present are too stark to ignore,” said Burroughs.

According to a new report from Stop AAPI Hate, Asian Americans reported nearly 3,800 hate-related incidents across the country, but the total is likely much higher. And Asian American women have suffered more than double the hate incidents compared to Asian American men.

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