Our Statement in Response to the Anti-Asian American Hate Crimes in Atlanta and the Tenderloin
Dated 3.24.2021, Updated on 4.6.2021
Dear Friends of TNDC,
Last week we witnessed multiple instances of anti-Asian American hate crimes, gendered violence, and the traumatic toll it has on our Asian American tenants, community members, staff, supporters, loved ones, and neighbors.
The murder of eight human beings, seven being women, six of Asian descent, and four identifying as Korean, by a white man in the Atlanta area is devastating, painful, and traumatizing. This violence, combined with recent attacks against two Asian elders and San Franciscans, Xiao Zhen Xie and Ngoc Pham, in the Tenderloin and the countless other hate crimes across the Bay Area and country must be acknowledged as what they are: the violence of white supremacy.
When we say white supremacy, we mean more than extremist groups. White supremacy is a set of beliefs and systems that are often unconscious, internalized by people of all racial identities. It ultimately influences all our systems, institutions, cultures, and harms all of us.
Both the spa shooting and its initial coverage are examples of how white supremacy dehumanizes people of color. By focusing on the white shooter’s personal story and his “sex addiction” as motivation, coverage humanized the shooter and ignored the victims, their families’ losses, and the reality that the shooter saw our Asian mothers, daughters, sisters, friends, and neighbors as disposable. This is racial bias. His actions speak volumes, and his actions are unacceptable.
We must end anti-Asian American violence, and we can only do so by building an infrastructure and culture based in anti-racism. A culture that centers the women we lost in Atlanta and their families, and our older neighbors who have been abused in the Bay Area. A culture that fosters norms, values, and practices that build respect, well-being, and justice for all of us, not some.
The Tenderloin has a long history as a haven for Asian immigrants and people earning low wages, and that means TNDC must be accountable to our neighbors. We must speak out about our country’s history of violence to the Asian American Community and uplift the safety of our Asian American tenants and neighbors.
There are many ways to get involved and show support for the Asian American community. Please see the list below. We are also working with the Asian American community in the Tenderloin to create a safe walking service, and will need volunteers. Follow TNDC on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for more details on how to get involved.
To our Asian American community members, we see you and stand in solidarity with you, your pain, and your vision for community-centered safety, equity, and justice.
Stand in Solidarity with the Asian American Community
3. Report anti-Asian American hate through Stop AAPI Hate.
5. Listen to Asian Americans tell their personal stories and challenge existing narratives on the podcast Self Evident.
Don Falk (he/him),