Late Tuesday, eight people were murdered in Atlanta, Georgia and six of those individuals were Asian American women. These crimes are being investigated but appear to be racially motivated. For many of us, these murders bring to light the trauma, hate, and violence that Asian Americans are experiencing in our country. And this must stop.
We have marked the one-year anniversary of a worldwide pandemic that has taken 500,000 lives in America and disrupted the lives of every student and family in the District. In this same timeframe, hateful rhetoric and violence against Asian Americans have festered and grown. In this past year, over 3,800 xenophobic and racialized attacks against Asian Americans (mostly women and elderly) have been reported.
These racialized attacks against Asian Americans reflect our country’s painful and often overlooked historical mistreatment of Asian Americans, including the Chinese exclusion and Japanese incarceration. In Denver, we are mere steps away from the state’s Ralph Carr Justice Center, named for the former Colorado Governor who courageously refused to send Coloradans of Japanese descent to the federal incarceration camps during World War II. At the time under great political pressure, Governor Carr stated, “If you harm them, you must first harm me.”
Racism has no place in our district. We are a district grounded in Equity. We are committed to ensuring our schools are Safe and Welcoming for all. And we stand with our Asian American students, staff, and families. We condemn these heinous acts of violence and hateful rhetoric. And we are committed to creating a safe place for our Asian American students and staff to learn and thrive.