The following blog text is an open letter from SOME President and CEO Ralph Boyd to the SOME community.
Dear SOME Community,
I am saddened, and once again find myself compelled to write to condemn violence, especially violence that disproportionately impacts communities of color, in this instance that of our Asian neighbors. By now, the details of the recent murder of eight people in Atlanta have been well chronicled by mainstream and social media alike. Although the weight of the evidence appears not to support an explicit racial motive for the mass shootings, in many respects this observation misses the point. What it underscores is that along with death, suffering, and isolation, the pandemic has brought with it a tidal wave of needless additional suffering for members of the Asian American and Pacific Islander communities in the United States.
Since the onset of the pandemic, documented acts of discrimination, violence, and threats of violence against these communities have accelerated at alarming rates, a reality that is untenable in a seasoned constitutional democracy with a broadly diverse citizenry. Stop AAPI Hate informs us that nearly 4,000 instances of racially motivated violence and discrimination against Asians have been reported over the course of the past year. This is appalling. Quite frankly, the rise in violence and other acts of discrimination, along with the recent deadly attacks, serve as sobering reminders of the hard work and heavy lifting ahead before vulnerable people no longer fear discrimination or violence because of their race, ethnicity, gender, or other immutable, impertinent trait.
At SOME, we are unwavering in our support for, and solidarity with, our Asian neighbors. We remain committed to creating and sustaining equitable and inclusive communities that are part of a D.C. that is safe and livable for all residents, visitors, and guests. SOME leadership also is steadfast in our support for our staff and other stakeholders who are working to eliminate all forms of racism and inequality, while also alleviating their lingering inequitable impacts.
In closing, I remind us that for more than a half-century now, SOME has been a beacon, a voice through both word and deed, advocacy, and action for those whose voices may go unheard amidst their daily struggle for basic sustenance and opportunity. We help save lives. We transform lives—and we improve the lives of people who seek our help. SOME grants us the privilege of service, which seems even more important in the context of recent events, in Atlanta and here in our Nation’s capital. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the friends, family, and neighbors of each person killed in the vicious Atlanta attacks. We mourn each of them. We also mourn for the broader AAPI community as it endures increased discrimination in all its various manifestations.
For resources on how to aid the AAPI community in combating hate, visit Stop AAPI Hate or read What You Can Do About Anti-Asian Violence for additional information and ideas about how to help.
With continuing appreciation and deep respect,
President & CEO