For Immediate Release, March 17, 2021

Contact:

Kierán Suckling, (520) 275-5960, ksuckling@biologicaldiversity.org

Center for Biological Diversity Statement on Georgia Killings, Rise of Violence Against Asians and Pacific Islanders Throughout United States

Statement from Kierán Suckling, executive director, Center for Biological Diversity:

“The Center for Biological Diversity condemns the killing of Asian Americans in Georgia and the dramatic rise of violence against Asians and Pacific Islanders throughout the United States.

Encouraged and emboldened by persistent anti-Asian statements by Donald Trump and other public figures during the COVID-19 crisis, racists have dramatically increased harassment, violent attacks and deadly assaults on people of Asian and Pacific Islander descent. As it’s well-established that pandemics tend to worsen racist tendencies, public figures should be taking extra steps to calm the nation and protect vulnerable communities as we deal with COVID-19. Instead, Trump and many others are fanning the flames because of their own racism and for their own imagined political gain.

Racism against Asian and Pacific Island people is as old as the history of the United States. While many explicitly anti-Asian laws and policies have been rescinded, racism persists broadly in cultural assumptions and practices. It has been less visible to some because the myth of Asians as a “model minority” has been leveraged as evidence that racism no longer exists. In fact, that’s a form of racism, helping to drive the rise in attacks, harassment and exclusions this pandemic year, and the heinous killings in Georgia yesterday, even as other hatreds come into play.

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are a unique and essential part of the cultural diversity that defines and enriches both the United States and the Center for Biological Diversity’s own staff. The Center stands with all Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in this dark time and condemns all who commit or promote racist acts against them.”

The Center for Biological Diversity is a national, nonprofit conservation organization with more than 1.7 million members and online activists dedicated to the protection of endangered species and wild places.