Twenty-six governors released a joint statement March 26 on the rise in anti-Asian hate.
The statement was signed by 23 Democratic governors, joined by the Republican governors of Maryland and Massachusetts and the governor of the territory of Guam. It reads as follows:
“As governors, we take care in protecting the people of our states and territories. The tragic loss of loved ones in Atlanta that left eight people dead, including six Asian Americans, is part of a long and painful litany of acts of hate against Asian Americans across the country.
“Today, and every day, we stand in solidarity, in support, and in shared resolve with the Asian American community. Hate will not divide our states, territories, and communities. We condemn all expressions of racism, xenophobia, scapegoating, and anti-Asian sentiment.
“From the Chinese Exclusion Act to the incarceration of Japanese Americans in World War II to the mistreatment of Muslims and Sikhs after 9/11, this year is part of a history of racism against the Asian American community.
“In the past year, the use of anti-Asian rhetoric during the pandemic has resulted in Asian Americans being harassed, assaulted, and scapegoated for the COVID-19 pandemic. The Center for the Study of Hate an dExtremism at California State University in San Bernardino released findings in early March that showed hate crimes against Asian Americans spiked 149% from 2019 to 2020, even while hate crimes fell overall.
“What is happening to Asian Americans is simply un-American. We condemn racism, violence, and hatred against our AAPI communities, and we must do more to protect, lift up, and support the Asian Americancommunity.”
The statement was signed by:
Gavin Newsom, California
Gretchen Whitmer, Michigan
Jared Polis, Colorado
Timothy Walz, Minnesota
Ned Lamont, Connecticut
Steve Sisoka, Nevada
John Carney, Delaware
Phil Murphy, New Jersey
Lourde LeonGuerrero, Guam
Michelle Lujan Grisham, New Mexico
David Ige, Hawaii
Andrew Cuomo, New York
J.B. Pritzker, Illinois
Roy Cooper, North Carolina
Laura Kelly, Kansas
Kate Brown, Oregon
Andy Beshear, Kentucky
Tom Wolf, Pennsylvania
John Bel Edwards, Louisiana
Daniel McKee, Rhode Island
Janet Mills, Maine
Ralph Northam, Virginia
Larry Hogan, Maryland
Jay Inslee, Washington
Charlie Baker, Massachusetts
Tony Evers, Wisconsin
A similar statement was issued by more than 60 AAPIs who served in senior roles across six presidential administrations. Among those who signed it were:
Norman Mineta, former congressman, secretary of commerce under President Bill Clinton and secretary of transportation under President George W. Bush.
Elaine Chao, secretary of labor under President George W. Bush and secretary of transporation under President Donald Trump.
Gary Locke, former governor of Washington, secretary of commerce and ambassadror to China under President Barack Obama.
Harry B. Harris Jr., commander of the U.S. Pacific Fleet under President Obama, ambassador to South Korea under President Trump.
“Such vicious and unconscionable acts of violence cut at the very core of our country and the values on which it was founded … The critical work to combat the haunting rise of hatred against the AAPI community must intensify with the immediacy this latest tragedy commands,” said Chao after the Atlanta murders.
“This violence against Asian Americans, and especially our elderly,has got to stop,” Locke said. “We cannot scapegoat [and] blame Asian Americans for this virus. Hate is a virus.”