During times like these, many in our midst try to deflect responsibility by blaming such heinous acts on a lone actor suffering from mental illness. However, even if the suspect in the Atlanta shootings is not charged with hate crimes, we must remain cognizant of the fact that this horrible incident took place during a period of increasing animus, assaults and despicable harassment against Asian Americans across our country—actions inflamed in many cases by public officials and disinformation campaigns. Indeed, it should not be lost on anyone that six of the eight victims killed in the Atlanta shootings were Asian women working in the service industry.
We strongly condemn and openly denounce this ongoing perpetuation of stereotypes and misogyny that goes back centuries in American history.
In our capacity as African American lawyers in Colorado, we express our deepest gratitude to our Asian American friends who stood with us during the renewed period of racial reckoning and social justice protests that occurred last summer. Please know that we recognize there is no one designated “season” for such activism.
We will stand for all seasons in support of the Asian American community and all marginalized communities in calling out the racism, xenophobia, misogyny and white supremacy that serve as a backdrop to horrific acts of domestic terrorism, hate and injustice.
As Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the NAACP, stated earlier this week, “Now more than ever we must stand together, united against racial violence in all its forms. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us.”
Finally, as lawyers, we can use our specialized knowledge, skills and public platform to address racism and bias in our legal system. As African American lawyers, we can apply lessons learned from navigating often unfair policies and practices in order to achieve our individual and collective professional goals. Accordingly, we are more than ready to roll up our sleeves and work alongside our Asian American friends and colleagues to continue the fight against injustice.
And on a purely human level, we want you to know that we see you, we hear you and we will be available to offer emotional support as you process this latest painful tragedy and gather the strength to continue our collective journey toward creating a more just and fair system for all.
April Jones, Esq.
President, Sam Cary Bar Association