March 19, 2021

It’s time for allies to step up

On Tuesday, eight people, including seven women — six of whom were Asian Americans — were killed at three separate spas across Atlanta. Meyer Memorial Trust mourns the innocent lives caught in the crossfires of white supremacy, misogyny and racism. We send strength to their families, communities and loved ones. We stand in solidarity with the Asian American and Pacific Islander community and all who condemn anti-Asian hate and violence.

Yesterday, a new intelligence report warning of the rising threat of domestic terrorism was delivered to Congress. This report comes shortly after Stop AAPI Hate released findings that over the past year alone there have been nearly 3,800 anti-Asian racist incidents, mostly against women. Clearly, these brutal slayings along with the recent rise in violent rhetoric and attacks against AAPI-identifying people are rooted in anti-Asian hate, racism and violence against women. This is nothing new but another stark reminder of the deep roots that xenophobia, white nationalism, racism and misogyny have in the United States.

The data are sound: Misogyny has an explicit economic cost for women, particularly women of color. We know that racism literally terrorizes, harms and kills people every single day, and everyone pays the high cost. White supremacy rooted in structural and systemic racism is like a carcinogenic parasite, constantly mutating, wreaking havoc and draining the life of its host, our country. Dismantling white supremacy and misogyny cannot be subjects of only academic concern to be studied. It will not be an easy lift, but undoing this crippling ailment will benefit us all.

It’s time for allies to step up. Just as white nationalist hate and violence target all communities of color, so must movements for justice work together to defeat the forces that seek to oppress us. An attack on one of us is an attack on all of us. Our struggles for liberation against oppression are interconnected, inseparable and always stronger in partnership. The writer and social activist Langston Hughes spoke 78 years ago to this solidarity between South Asian and Black communities fighting for basic rights, dignity and humanity in a poem entitled “How About It?” It includes these lines:

Show me that you mean

Democracy, please —

Cause from Bombay to Georgia

I’m beat to my knees

We must unite across sectors and as a nation to stop AAPI hate and stand against the violence of racism and white supremacy. Meyer is committed to fighting anti-Asian hate, bigotry, sexism and racism in all the forms that are woven throughout our nation’s fabric. We vow to continue uplifting, empowering and serving AAPI-identifying people, while working toward achieving our mission of a flourishing and equitable Oregon.

Bigotry and prejudice should have no place in our lives, and we remain committed to building a more equitable, safe and just world.

Michelle