As an anti-sexual violence coalition, FCASV condemns all forms of violence and acts of hate, which are historically intertwined in roots of oppression. We often see this hatred aimed at women, particularly women of color. It is markedly painful that during Women’s History Month, when we should be honoring women, especially women of color, we are mourning them. Women’s history has long been shaped by the perpetration of violence and the fight against it; FCASV is deeply saddened by the most recent attack. We are appalled at the senseless murders of eight people in Georgia yesterday, six of whom were Asian-American women, and who were killed across three Asian-owned businesses.
It is a distressing reality that women are perpetually dehumanized and victimized in our society. This is strikingly true for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) women, who are at a disproportionally higher risk of violence. Asian-American women face stereotyping and fetishization in the U.S. that makes them targets of violence and misogyny. Authorities have said it’s too early to determine if the crimes were racially motivated, but when attacks on Asian-Americans are surging, these murders are even more devastating for communities who have been experiencing violent expressions of hate. While racist discourse fueled by the pandemic has been aimed at China, public vilification has been directed at Asian-Americans of all ethnicities.
Asian-American populations have been living through an exceptionally dangerous time when going to work, visiting stores, walking on sidewalks, and other day-to-day activities are filled with vitriol and abuse. We are deeply alarmed that yesterday’s murders at the hands of a suspected white male domestic terrorist will heighten the fear already hurting Asian-Americans.
As officials seek the motivation behind these terrible crimes, we applaud the law enforcement response, which prevented further acts of violence from potentially occurring in other states, and against those in neighboring Asian-American communities.
Women should be free to live without fear, danger, and structural biases tied to race and gender. We mourn with the victims’ families, these communities, and those who face ongoing societal bigotry and injustices. FCASV continues to stand vigilantly with BIPOC women and communities of color as we work collectively to prevent future devastation and anguish among groups who have contributed so much to our society yet perversely live in fear about their futures and livelihoods.