UCC PAAM: Hate has no place here!
In light of the shootings in Atlanta and the surge in hate crimes against members of their community, the Pacific Islander & Asian American Ministries (PAAM) of the United Church of Christ has issued this statement:
Angry! Outraged! Upset! There are no words to reflect what is happening in our Asian American and Pacific Islander communities. Brutal attacks on the elderly and vulnerable are increasing. And these are not robberies. They are hate crimes and in broad daylight. The latest report from just one center monitoring AAPI crimes list over 3,700 incidents from March 2020 to February 2021.
Many bring up the fact that the previous administration encouraged this type of racial discrimination. “Kung Flu.” “Chinese Virus.” This might be true, but it is individuals who continue to perpetrate these crimes. And we, not only as Christians but also as human beings, need to stand up and support our AAPI community. Many have asked how they can help. Here is what is shared by Stop AAPI Hate:
Five Ways to Help If You Are Witnessing Hate
• Take action. Approach the targeted person, introduce yourself and offer help.
• Actively listen. Ask before taking any action and respect the targeted person’s wishes. Monitor the situation if needed.
• Ignore attacker. Using your discretion, attempt to calm the situation by using your voice, body language or distractions.
• Accompany. If the situation escalates, invite the targeted person to join you in leaving.
• Offer emotional support. Help the targeted person by asking how they are feeling. Assist them to figure out what they want to do next.
The Pacific Islander & Asian American Ministries (PAAM) of the United Church of Christ has always called out and condemned all types of racism and xenophobia against all communities of color since 1974 and will continue to do so if this virus is among us.
Contact your local legislative officials and demand support for the AAPI community in your area. Contact your local civil rights organizations to add your name to their list. Discuss in your church how you can show support for your AAPI community during this time.
Dick Hom is the moderator of the Pacific Islander & Asian American Ministries, United Church of Christ.
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