DSJ Statement on Atlanta Mass Shootings
This statement was issued by the Divisions for Social Justice (DSJ) of the American Psychological Association on March 25, 2021. SPSSI is a member of DSJ.
Last week in Atlanta, Georgia, eight people were murdered, including six Asian American women in an act of racism and misogyny. Now more than ever it is time to stand in solidarity and support with the Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) community during this time of anger, fear, and sadness.
According to Stop AAPI Hate, there have been nearly 3,800 reported incidents of hate-based crimes against the AAPI community since March 2020. This growing figure continues to rise and includes the disturbing trend of unprovoked physical assaults against Asian elderly men and women, with the death of Vichar Ratanapakdee, 84, serving as a tragic example of the many reported and unreported victims.
There is no excuse for this violence and we cannot stand by in silence as it continues to spread. While instances of racism and xenophobia appear to have increased following the current COVID-19 pandemic, we must face the uncomfortable reality that the underlying stereotypes fueling such hatred have existed long before and have often shaped the Asian American and Pacific Islander experience. It is now time for us to honor that experience and address the blatant need for action and healing.
Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are not passive bystanders or perpetual foreigners, but have played a pivotal role actively participating and shaping the course of American history. As the country moves towards rallying calls for social justice and addressing its legacy of systemic racism, we ask that the AAPI community be included as an important voice in the BIPOC discussion of promoting solidarity and collective unity in the face of hate. Together we wish for the safety, visibility, and equal understanding of all.
As the APA Divisions for Social Justice, we firmly stand in support of the AAPI community and denounce all manifestations of racism, discrimination, xenophobia, and misogyny. As mental health professionals we look to provide support and community resources to anyone that may be affected by these tragic events. During these difficult times it is pivotal for us to come together as allies rather than be divided by individual agendas.
Resources provided by the Asian American Psychological Association (AAPA)
Anti-Asian Violence Resources:
Bystander Intervention Training:
Asian American Community Resources:
Organizations Supporting Asian American Women:
Literature on Racial Discrimination and Anti-Asian Prejudice: