The Japanese American National Museum (JANM) denounces the recent vandalism that occurred at the Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience in Seattle.
On Sept. 14, a man smashed nine of the museum’s windows with a sledgehammer — an estimated $100,000 in damages — while yelling racist insults, interrupting an after-hours tour with Tsuru for Solidarity for community leaders and residents.
When witnesses called 911, Seattle Police Department operators said that they were unable to immediately respond because it was considered a vandalism incident where no one was hurt. The man was later arrested on suspicion of committing a hate crime and damage to property.
“We are deeply disturbed by what happened yesterday at the Wing Luke Museum, our sister museum in Seattle,” said Ann Burroughs, president and CEO of JANM. “It was a violent crime motivated by racial hatred, a toxic brew that spreads fear and insecurity. It should have been responded to promptly.
“The violence, inaction, and bias underpinning this incident can leave lasting invisible scars and so easily trigger the multigenerational trauma that communities of color carry with them. As an institution that promotes diversity, inclusion, and social justice through the vast and varied experiences of Japanese Americans, we must call out hate and injustice every time it occurs.”