In the aftermath of this week's shooting rampage that took eight innocent lives in the Atlanta area -- yet another national tragedy authored by a hate-filled man with a gun -- Open Buffalo mourns and stands in solidarity with all those impacted directly or from afar.
Among those senselessly murdered in these attacks were six Asian-American women.
While the motive for these senseless attacks remains murky, we see clearly that they arrived amid a wave of domestic terrorism -- let's call it what it is -- centered around white nationalism, xenophobia, and extreme ideologies. While the January 6 insurgency at the nation's Capitol has claimed the most headlines, other communities and ethnic groups across the U.S. have long known the realities of domestic terrorism and xenophobic crimes meant to intimidate, silence, and marginalize.
We know well that people who identify as Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) are (right now) facing a major surge in violent assaults and verbal attacks, from coast to coast. Many of our AAPI siblings who've recently been victims of unprovoked racist assaults are unsuspecting elders.
And any honest observer has recognized the disturbing normalization of bigoted and derogatory commentary toward Asian-Americans in the media and public discourse amid the COVID-19 pandemic, with reckless politicians stoking and harnessing the fires of hate.
Open Buffalo stands firmly opposed to the hate crimes and attacks (violent and nonviolent) that are targeting our AAPI neighbors. This means organized attacks as well as those carried out by supposed "lone wolves." All of these are fueled in some way by the systemic white supremacy and disregard of BIPOC personhood. These acts, and the lack of accountability for them, are a stain on our national fabric requiring the attention and energy of everyone.
To be active allies, here are some positive actions we can all take:
- Have a courageous conversation to challenge someone spreading oppressive views.
- Visit gofundme's Stop Asian Hate page.
- Visit the Southern Poverty Law Center's website, to learn about their critical work of monitoring and exposing hate groups. SPLC offers a "guide to bystander intervention" here.
- Contact your local district attorney, state attorney general, or local law enforcement to make sure that they take hate crimes seriously and aggressively prosecute them.
- Follow Open Buffalo across social media and sign up for newsletters to find opportunities to combat systemic racism in your community.