S.U.R.E. Diversity (Swampscott Unites, Respects, and Embraces Diversity) stands in solidarity with the Asian American Community. We denounce anti-Asian racism and our hearts go out to the families of the 8 people recently murdered (6 of them of Asian descent).
The organization, Stop AAPI Hate, recently released a report showing nearly 3,800 hate incidents reported against Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders nationwide over the last year. We want to emphasize that Asian is not a virus, a racist view. Racism is the virus. Here at S.U.R.E., we commit to being an ally for the Asian community. Below are a few things you can start doing right now.
Check on your Asian friends, colleagues, and neighbors. It's a sensitive topic, so it might be difficult to find the right words. A simple, “Hey, I heard about the recent hate crimes. I just want to let you know I'm here for you," is better than nothing at all.
Start the conversation with your non-Asian friends and family. Awareness is key. Ask your parents if they've heard about the most recent wave of anti-Asian hate crimes or bring it up in conversation with friends.
Speak up when you hear microaggressions. Some examples include asking an Asian person where they're from or complimenting them on their "perfect English accent." This insinuates that they don't belong. Using words like "oriental" or "exotic" to describe someone or something Asian is outdated, inappropriate, and downright offensive. Calling the Covid-19 virus the “China” virus or “Kung-Flu” is an example as well. If you ever witness these or related incidents in public or at the workplace, speak up for that person. Strength comes in numbers.
We would love to hear from our community on what to read or listen to. It takes each of us to do our part to combat racism and become anti-racist. Based on Ibram Xendi’s recent book, anti-racist is one who is supporting an anti-racist policy through their actions or expressing an anti-racist idea. We call on our community to stand up and be united against hate.
For more resources, visit StopAsianHate.org. This site has information about the racial injustices against Asians, provides a way to report hate crimes, and lists non-profit organizations to support the cause.
Swampscott’s S.U.R.E. is a group of community volunteers, organized in 2016, committed to diversity and inclusion in Swampscott. S.U.R.E. is currently collaborating with the Swampscott Public Library on the One Topic One Town project through community-wide reading and online discussion of books on racism.