RLF Statement of Solidarity with AAPI Communities

Elvert Barnes Photography https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode

RLF stands with the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities to condemn senseless violence and bigotry rooted in racism and xenophobia. According to Stop AAPI Hate, Asian Americans have been victims of more than 3,800 hate crimes across the country during the past year, fanned by the racist rhetoric of the former president who called COVID-19 the “Chinese” virus (among other slurs). These hateful acts are unacceptable.

Anti-Asian hate crimes have been reported right in our backyard—elderly Asian men have been beaten and killed in broad daylight in the Bay Area in separate attacks—and gained national attention in Georgia with the murders of eight people in Asian-owned businesses, including six Asian American women. Most recently, Vilma Kari, a Filipina, was brutally attacked in midtown Manhattan while onlookers did nothing to intervene and even closed a door on her.

Hate crimes and violence against AAPI communities have often been less visible in American culture, perpetuated by under-reporting of violence in immigrant communities, among other reasons. Not speaking up to condemn it perpetuates that invisibility. It would be like closing the door on Vilma Kari again instead of coming to her aid.

The people of RLF are committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion in our workplace and through our work. This includes promoting public policies and funding that improve the lives of people of color, and growing support for organizations led by people of color. We are committed to standing in solidarity with communities under attack, in pain, and living in fear, as well as those that simply have been ignored.

As the nation watches the trial of Derek Chauvin, we’re re-living the trauma of the deeply rooted racism that in some ways has shaped this nation. At the same time, there is hope for justice and positive change to come. It began, at least, with the bystanders who took videos of George Floyd’s murder that compelled the world to pay witness and not look away.

At RLF, we strive to be an organization that actively works with partners to dismantle racism and condemn racial injustice in all forms. We stand with the AAPI community and others who have spoken out, to help make sure that in the future the door opens and help comes, until the day when it is no longer needed.