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Given the dramatic uptick in racist, anti-Asian rhetoric in this country, we shouldn’t be surprised by this week’s senseless violence in the Atlanta area … or by the rash of anti-Asian hate crimes being committed across the United States. Just in the past year, since the pandemic started, Stop Hate and Asian Americans Advancing Justice have reported over 3,000 incidents against Asians or Asian-Americans. That’s a staggering number and a depressing testament to the persistent power of ignorance, prejudice, violence, and inhumanity.
At LFS, we continue to work everyday in big and small ways, with groups of students and in addressing individual comments and behaviors, to promote respect for all people and compassionate behavior toward all people, plain and simple. Just this Wednesday, during Worship Sharing, I listened as the 4th graders thoughtfully discussed the meaning of “integrity” and whether war could ever be justified. It was yet another small but powerful moment of our work in shaping children’s thinking about how to confront the world’s challenges as a respectful community member. Our Mission Statement calls on us to do exactly that: to “honor racial, religious, economic, and cultural diversity,” and to “work cooperatively and to practice non-violent responses to conflict.”
Unfortunately we know how needed and important this work is, and how critical it is for all of us to call out acts of unkindness and racism, big and small. And so we ask you to join us in standing with our Asian and Asian American classmates, colleagues, and community members who are experiencing fear and trauma. Engage your children in age-appropriate conversations about what is going on and listen to your Asian and Asian American friends and neighbors who may have stories to share. Speak up when you hear someone make a racist comment, and take this time in particular to support Asian-owned businesses. Let’s raise our voices as individuals and as a community.
P.S. Please see the list of resources/articles below that you might find helpful in understanding the spate of anti-Asian and anti-Asian American rhetoric and violence.