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Virtual National Day of Action and Healing

03/26/2021

WHEREAS, as the United States grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, Asian American communities are facing an alarming rise in anti-Asian violence, racism, and discrimination; and

WHEREAS, nearly 1 in 3 Asian Americans reported experiencing racial slurs or jokes since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and in 2020, there was a 1900% increase in violence against Asian Americans; and

WHEREAS, Stop AAPI Hate, a reporting center that tracks and responds to incidents of hate, violence, harassment, discrimination, shunning, and child bullying against Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders in the United States documented almost 3,800 incidents since March 2020; and

WHEREAS, racist language and stigmatizing social media posts propagated from the highest levels of government starting in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic have been among the greatest spreaders of anti-Asian American rhetoric; and

WHEREAS, the recent hate incidents come after a year of increased violence against the Asian American community, fueled by racism and xenophobia, with attacks that disproportionally targeted Asian elders and Asian women; and

WHEREAS, on March 16, 2021, eight people were killed, six of whom were Asian women, and were targeted in a series of mass shootings that occurred at three spas or massage parlors in the Atlanta Metropolitan area; and

WHEREAS, there is a long history objectifying Asian and Asian American Women and it is vital to take a gendered lens into account as Asian American women are being targeted nearly two times the rate of Asian American men; and

WHEREAS, from the Chinese Exclusion Act to the incarceration of Japanese Americans in World War II, to the brutal murder of Vincent Chin, to the violence against Muslims and Sikhs after 9/11, the current wave of Asian racism is a continuation of racist and imperialist violence against Asians in the United States; and

WHEREAS, the “model minority” myth increases harm against Asian Americans and is used to divide Asian American and Pacific Islander communities from each other and from other communities of color; and

WHEREAS, more than 1.4 million Asian American healthcare workers make up 8.5% of all essential healthcare workers, and Filipino nurses make up only 4% of the nursing population of the United States, yet they comprise nearly one-third of nurses who have died due to COVID-19; and

WHEREAS, two million Asian American–owned small businesses generate $700 billion in annual Gross Domestic Product and employ around 3.5 million people, but 75% of these businesses do not have access to COVID-19 relief; and

WHEREAS, the Commonwealth of Virginia urges its residents to honor the victims of Anti-Asian violence and push back against racism, sexism, and anti-Asian violence by uplifting the Asian American community with the hashtag #StopAsianHate because words matter;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize March 26, 2021, as a VIRTUAL NATIONAL DAY OF ACTION AND HEALING in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.