J Street is horrified by the attack this week on three spas in the Atlanta, Georgia area, in which eight people — six of them women of Asian descent — were murdered by a gunman who appears to have been motivated by both misogyny and anti-Asian hatred. Our thoughts are with the victims and their families, and with members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community across the country who are facing a rising wave of bigotry and violence.
While this bigotry has long been present in our society, it has clearly been inflamed by the disgusting scapegoating of China and Asian-Americans for the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as by the overall growth of white nationalist extremism in the United States. The spread of these tropes and growth of these violent movements have been incited and encouraged by former President Trump and many leading members of his party.
As a primarily Jewish organization, we have seen how the rise of xenophobic, misogynistic extremism has led to horrific antisemitic violence against our own community in places like Pittsburgh and Poway, as well as attacks on communities of color and many other vulnerable minorities. We’ve seen how so much of this hatred is interconnected, tying together and targeting so many of us as enemies of the white supremacist agenda. We’ve seen how the only way we can hope to effectively confront and defeat this agenda and this violence is by standing together and supporting each other, refusing to ever tolerate any form of bigotry in this country.
We stand with the AAPI community and are committed to working in coalition with partners across the country to combat this tidal wave of hate. We encourage our supporters and community to consider contributions to organizations like Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta and Stop AAPI Hate that are leading the fight to defend the rights and safety of AAPI.