March 30, 2021•Advocacy Matters
Disability Matters with Joyce Bender
March 30, 2021
A couple of weeks ago, 8 people, including 6 Asian women, were gunned down in a horrific act of violence in the Atlanta Metro area. This violence spread fear and intimidation in our communities. The increase in hate against Asian Americans has been linked to the start of the pandemic as COVID-19 was labeled by some in xenophobic terms. According to statistics from the Stop Asian American and Pacific Island Hate Reporting Center, nearly 3,800 reported anti-Asian hate incidents have been self-reported since the start of the pandemic.
On Thursday, March 18th, the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties held a hearing on Discrimination and Violence Against Asian Americans. We have a link to the hearing record on our website www.disabilityrightspa.org.
As advocates and leaders in the disability community, we have to understand the intersection of race and disability and speak out against anti-Asian hate, violence, discrimination, and intimidation. We know we cannot stand by silently while one part of our disability community is increasing the target of hate.
What can we do?
Caution the news media, police, and prosecutors against the tendency to blame mental illness for xenophobia and white supremacy. Racism is not a mental illness. Instead, the media, police, and prosecutors should focus on supporting the victims of hate crimes who are likely to be the ones that experience trauma from their experience.
Policymakers and law enforcement must aggressively combat anti-Asian hate and discrimination.
There must be resources for prosecutors, district attorneys, and our U.S. Attorneys to actively investigate and prosecute hate crimes and combat all acts of domestic terrorism.
Visit www.asianamericandayofaction.com to learn about the #StopAsianHate Virtual National Day of Action and Healing that took place on Friday, March 26th. There you will find messages and a toolkit for use in your communities.
Links for this #AdvocacyMatters segment:
Disability Rights Pennsylvania State on Anti-Asian Hate Crimes
U.S. Representatives Committee on the Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties
Hearing on Discrimination and Violence against Asian Americans
American Association of People with Disabilities Statement in Solidarity with Asian American Communities