ideastream, March 28, 2021
Excerpt from the article:
The march came just a week after a mass shooting at three Atlanta-area spas in which eight people, six of them women of Asian descent, were killed. Their deaths were profound in a year in which racism and violence toward Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) grew at an alarming rate.
“I’ve been feeling the fear and the anger for all of the pain that we’ve endured over the past year, not just from seeing our elders being targeted by individuals in the streets, but from the systemic and institutional violence against us,” Tessa Xuan, a co-director of the Ohio Progressive Asian Women’s Leadership (OPAWL), said to the crowd. “Violence which has demonized, violence which has exploited, violence which has deported, killed and tried to erase us.”
Earlier this month, Cleveland City Council passed an emergency resolution to condemn racism, xenophobia and hate crimes “especially against Asians and Asian American Pacific Islanders during this pandemic.”
Several organizations were part of the planning for the march, including AsiaTown Cleveland, Ohio Progressive Asian Women’s Leadership, OCA Greater Cleveland (an AAPI advocacy organization formerly known as the Organization for Chinese Americans), Asian Services in Action and Asian Pacific Islander American Public Affairs.
They asked for support and solidarity with the AAPI communities, but that won’t be enough. They also encouraged those in attendance to reach out to lawmakers to demand additional resources for AAPI communities that would help them thrive and stay safe.
“We need to go beyond just words,” said Manoa Hui of OPAWL. “We need to go beyond just resolutions. You can make as many resolutions as you want and the quality of our life is not going to improve. It is not going to stop Asian hate.”