AA&PI Leaders’ Statement on the Shootings in Atlanta and on the Rise in Anti-Asian Violence

March 17, 2021


SALT LAKE CITY — Today, Sen. Jani Iwamoto, Rep. Karen Kwan, Councilmember Jake Fitisemanu Jr., Salt Lake District Attorney Sim Gill, Councilmember Darin Mano and representatives of Utah’s Asian American and Pacific Islander (AA&PI) community have the following statement addressing the rise in anti-Asian violence across the country.

“We are devastated by the news of last night’s shootings in Atlanta, Georgia, and we express our sincerest condolences to all the victims and their families who are affected by this tragedy. While the motives connected to these horrifying killings are yet to be settled, it is deeply disturbing that many of the fatalities are among the most vulnerable in our communities: women of Asian descent. It is clear that anti-Asian hate incidents have exploded over the past year across our country. The increase of anti-Asian hate speech is absolutely unacceptable and must stop. Divisive rhetoric, such as describing the Coronavirus as the “Chinese Virus,” has increased acts of hate against members of the AA&PI community broadly. Unfortunately, too often acts of hate go unreported. We urge all Utahns to come together, to call out hateful rhetoric, and to support one another as we get through this challenging time. Hate does not have a place in our community, but your safety and security does. You are not alone. ”

Signatories from the AA&PI community include the following organizations. Please note, this list is not exhaustive:

Asian Association of Utah

Utah Asian Chamber of Commerce

Chinatown Cultural Center

Chinese Railroad Worker Descendants Association

Utah Indochinese Benevolence Society of Utah

Utah Chapters of the Japanese American Citizens League (JACL)

The Korean American Federation of Utah

OCA Advocate Utah

United Chinese Association of Utah

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