Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 4,000 hate crimes have been committed against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) living in the United States. As is the case with so many other intersectional identities, individuals with disabilities who are also members of the AAPI community have also been disproportionately affected by these acts of hate.
As Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote in his Letter from the Birmingham Jail, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” AAPI rights are human rights, just as disability rights are human rights, and just as the rights of AAPI individuals with disabilities are human rights, too. Our community cannot truly be empowered with the rights they deserve until all members of our community are awarded those most basic freedoms of respect, dignity, and life.
Just as the groundswell of the Black Lives Matter movement in the summer of 2020 served as a moment of reckoning for this country and for our community, so, too, must this ongoing crisis. As President Biden stated, “Hate and violence often hide in plain sight. And it’s often met with silence. That’s been true throughout our history, but that has to change — because our silence is complicity. We cannot be complicit. We have to speak out. We have to act.”
The Arc of Massachusetts strongly reaffirms our commitment to not remain silent, to not be complicit, to speak out, and to act. We stand in solidarity with all AAPI members of our community – today, tomorrow, and every day after that.