In the wake of the Atlanta-area shootings and the significant rise in violence toward Asian Americans, a bipartisan group of 26 governors released a letter Friday morning in solidarity and support for the Asian American and Pacific Islander community.
All 23 Democratic governors have signed on, as well as the governor of the territory of Guam. Govs. Charlie Baker of Massachusetts and Larry Hogan of Maryland are the two Republicans who joined the effort. The letter was released the same day as the Stop AAPI Hate virtual day of action.
“Today, and every day, we stand in solidarity, in support, and in shared resolve with the Asian American community,” the letter states. “Hate will not divide our states, territories, and communities. We condemn all expressions of racism, xenophobia, scapegoating, and anti-Asian sentiment.”
The governors who signed go on to acknowledge the long history of anti-Asian racism in the U.S., going back to the Chinese Exclusion Act, the imprisonment of Japanese American citizens during World War II and the discrimination against Muslims and Sikhs after the Sept. 11 attacks.
“What is happening to Asian Americans is simply un-American,” the letter says. “We condemn racism, violence, and hatred against our AAPI communities, and we must do more to protect, lift up, and support the Asian American community.”
Since the shootings on March 16, several of those who signed, including Nevada’s Democratic governor, Steve Sisolak, have been holding roundtables with people in the AAPI community and encouraging Asian Americans to continue to speak out about and report hate incidents.
According to Stop AAPI Hate, nearly 3,800 hate incidents against Asians and Asian Americans have been recorded in the past year of the pandemic. A majority of those reported attacks were targeting women.