Letter Addressing Violence Towards our Asian Community
Dear Beloved in Christ,
Attacks against Asians are on the rise in the United States. Just this year in the Bay Area:
- A 64-year-old woman was assaulted and robbed after she went to the ATM to get money to celebrate Lunar New Year
- A 91-year-old man was shoved and hospitalized in Oakland’s Chinatown
- A 52-year-old woman was shot in the head with a flare gun in Chinatown
- In San Francisco, an 84-year-old man was smashed to the ground by a young man and died two days later in the hospital.
Stop Hate AAPI center and website (https://stopaapihate.org/) which was created by three agencies, one of which is the Asian American Studies Department of the San Francisco State University, states on their website that the center tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in California and where possible throughout the United States. From March to December 2020, there were over 2800 self-reported incidents. Almost half were from California and of those, over 700 were from the Bay Area.
Here are some of their stories:
I was waiting to enter a pharmacy to get my prescription when a group of construction workers (not social distancing) made fun of me by mocking me, fake coughing, spitting at me and making slant eyes gestures until I asked them to stop. No one else called these people out. (Oakland, CA)
I was standing in an aisle at a hardware store when suddenly I was struck from behind. Video surveillance verified the incident in which a white male used his bent elbow to strike my upper back. Subsequent verbal attacks occurred with “Shut up, you Monkey!, “Screw you Chinaman,” “Go back to China” and “Stop bringing that Chinese virus over here.” (San Francisco, CA)
On my daily walk in my hometown Sausalito, I was wearing a face mask when a white woman yelled at me, “I hate Chinese people! Why do they come to this country?!” when she passed me. I was stunned by her words which caused me to fear and be more alert of my surroundings.
We were outraged when Hispanic children were separated from their families at the border. We were horrified by the events that lead to the Black Lives Matter movement. And now we are terrified and angry of all the attacks against the Asian community.
We continue to fall short of God intentions for all of us. Our hearts are broken and we feel much grief at what our local communities and this country has become. We stand with all our Asian brothers and sisters during this tumultuous time.
May God continue to hold us in God’s care and guide us as individual, as the church and as the presbytery to be agents of peace and justice in our communities.
With Love and Care,
Your Presbytery Leadership Team