“We felt we may have been killed.” –Recent victim of the July 2 racist attack on the Eastbank Esplanade
Our Asian American Native Hawai’ian Pacific Islander (AANHPI) community, in solidarity with other communities of color, is horrified and angered by the racially-motivated violent attack against a Japanese family, including a 5 year old child, while they were enjoying Portland. Without the intervention of bystanders, there could have been a more horrifying outcome. This unprovoked attack continues a pattern of rising hostility and overt acts of violence against AANHPI, and it must be stopped.
We send our support, strength, and hope for healing to the family that was assaulted in our city, as the trauma of racist violence is particularly difficult to overcome. We send this to all the victims of racist hate in our city, who often bear this burden alone. There are too many of us.
We deserve to feel safe in our city. We deserve to feel welcome in our city. We stand together as communities of color for whom each slur, each attack, and each murder redouble our fear for our families, friends, and communities – people who are simply trying to live their lives. We deserve better than this.
We demand meaningful actions on historical injustice and erasure that feeds the current atmosphere of hate, which includes elevating the voices of AANHPI and communities of color to be seen and heard. Despite perpetual oppression and exploitation, our communities have contributed untold value to America and Oregon since the beginning and to this day. Our stories are American stories.
We call on you, as elected officials, to strengthen bias crime enforcement and data collection and to prioritize addressing racism in our community, using all the vast resources available to you. It is too easy to pretend that this racism is not as pervasive as it is.
We challenge you, as elected officials, to lead our community so it may remember its compassion and that we are all in this together. You must foster a change in our community, one that now disregards the welfare of its houseless and those with untreated mental illness while at the same time allowing racism to proliferate. There can be no real justice until then.
We pledge to work together as communities of color to seek changes that will stop these violations of our humanity and to never stay silent in the face of hate.
We are STRONGER than hate. In SOLIDARITY,
Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education
Portland Japanese American Citizens League
Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon
Wong Family Association
Japanese American Museum of Oregon
The Asian Reporter Newspaper
Chinese Friendship Association of Portland
Urban League of Portland
Oregon Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association
Lan Su Chinese Garden
Basic Rights Oregon
Portland Japanese Garden
All Hands Raised
Portland Lee’s Association
Minoru Yasui Tribute Project
Portland Chinatown Museum
Japan-America Society of Oregon
Micronesian Islander Community
Portland Police Bureau, Asian & Pacific Islander Advisory Council
Asian and Pacific Islander Community Coalition of Oregon
Chinese American Citizens Alliance, Portland Lodge
The Immigrant Story
Coalition of Communities of Color
Portland Sapporo Sister City Association
Filipino-American National Historical Society
Oldtown Community Association
Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Oregon
Council of Filipino American Associations
Hop Sing Tong
Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility
National Asian Pacific American Bar Association
Coalition of Asian Pacific Americans, San Francisco
Japanese Ancestral Society of Portland