During COVID-19, our country has seen a disturbing surge of discrimination, violence, and hatred directed at Asian Americans – one report found that hate crimes against Asians have increased 150% between 2019 and 2020. Launch strongly condemns the anti-Asian racism that is sadly becoming increasingly prevalent across the United States, including in Seattle and Washington state.
On Tuesday, a gunman in Atlanta killed 8 people, the majority of whom were Asian. Our hearts go out to the loved ones of those who were killed, and we wish them comfort in their grief, healing, and justice. But words of sympathy are not enough. Now is the time for all of us to turn words into action and stand with our Asian American community members. We must send a strong collective message that we will not accept racism, discrimination, hate, and violence in our city, state, and country.
As many others have pointed out, xenophobia and discrimination towards Asian Americans is nothing new. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 which banned Chinese immigration to the US and the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II are just two examples of the deep roots that anti-Asian racism has in this country.
As a child care provider serving families from all races, ethnicities, backgrounds, and walks of life, we work hard to create a safe, welcoming, supportive, and affirming space for our children and families. Racism, discrimination, and hatred will never be tolerated at Launch. We are committed to continuing to use anti-bias curricula in our classrooms. We’re also being even more intentional about creating space in our programs for children to discuss racism against Asian Americans, learn about the history, contributions, and cultures of Asian Americans, and challenge implicit and explicit biases where we see them.
We urge everyone in our community to stand up and support Asian American communities. Below are a number of resources to help you educate yourself, speak up, talk to children, and fight anti-Asian racism and white supremacy.
As Amanda Gorman said in her inspirational inaugural poem “The Hill We Climb”,
We will not be turned around
or interrupted by intimidation
because we know our inaction and inertia
will be the inheritance of the next generation
Our blunders become their burdens
But one thing is certain:
If we merge mercy with might,
and might with right,
then love becomes our legacy
and change our children’s birthright
So let us leave behind a country
better than the one we were left with
For there is always light,
if only we’re brave enough to see it
If only we’re brave enough to be it
For the sake of our children and youth in our communities, now is the time for us to be that light to illuminate a clearer path towards hope and joy in a world that is impacting their future. Please join us in taking action now.
HOW TO HELP
Learn about the history, contributions, and past and present experiences of Asian American communities.
Silence is consent. As Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “if you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.” Now is the time for all of us, particularly those who have privilege, to speak up and challenge racism, discrimination, and white supremacy when we encounter it.
Report any incidence of hate or bias
If you see something, say something. Report any incidence of hate or bias locally to the Chinese Information & Service Center and nationally to Stop AAPI Hate or Asian Americans Advancing Justice
Shop at businesses owned by Asian Americans
The Intentionalist has a great database of local businesses owned by Asian Americans.
Donate to local organizations serving Asian American communities
In the Seattle area, those organizations include: