SLA Stands with the Asian-American Community
Dear SLA families,
There are no good words at a time like this.
This week, we watched as Asian-American women were targeted by a white man for murder. You cannot divorce this from the undeniable rise in incidents of hate speech against Asian-Americans during this pandemic. Words, inevitably, lead to actions.
Over the past several days, I have thought about all of the times we have had to speak up and speak out because we have seen bigotry and hatred at the root of a mass shooting – a mass murder – in the last few years. Frighteningly, this is probably not a fully inclusive list of the times we have had to send an email like this, but I believe it is essential that we see what happened this week not as an isolated incident, but as a continuing assault on the very ideal that America can and must be a multi-racial democracy where all can be free.
- The 2015 shooting in Mother Emmanuel Church in Charleston, South Carolina that resulted in the murder of nine African-Americans.
- The 2016 shooting in Pulse Dance in Orlando, Florida that resulted in the murder of 49 members of the LGBTQ+ community.
- The 2018 shooting at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that resulted in the death of 11 Jewish members of the synagogue.
- The 2019 shooting in a Walmart in El Paso, Texas that was a targeted attack on the Latinx community that resulted in the death of 23 people.
- This week’s shooting in Atlanta, Georgia which resulted in the murder of eight people, including six Asian-American women.
This is untenable, and all of us who care deeply about our country and our communities must call this what it is – white supremacy and domestic terrorism. And therefore, it is incumbent on all of us to understand and embody the idea that until all of us are free, none of us are free.
These shootings do not happen in isolation. They happen when hateful language is not called out. They happen when politicians stoke the fears and fires of white nationalism for political gain. They happen when people who know better do not speak out.
Today, our thoughts are with the Asian-American community and all of SLA’s Asian-American students and families. If any students need to talk, we are here to listen. Our school must be a place where all members of our community are safe to learn and grow, and as such, we stand with all members of the AAPI community as they grapple with this week’s horrific murders.