At Chinese for Affirmative Action we are adding our voices to international calls for an immediate ceasefire and humanitarian aid for the people of Gaza. We believe the international community must increase its efforts to provide support and resources to the people affected by this crisis, and that any violations of human rights or international law should be thoroughly investigated, and those responsible should be held accountable.
The people of Gaza are experiencing horrific violence, and have lost countless family lines. Nearly 10,000 Palestinians have been killed as a result of the Israeli government’s military escalation. This devastating number only grows as daily bombings continue and as we mark one month since Hamas’s October 7 attack that killed 1,400 Israelis. Even beyond the number of people killed, so many more have been torn from their homes: hundreds of Israeli hostages still need to be released and nearly half a million Palestinians have been violently displaced, their houses reduced to rubble and ash.
In our work at Chinese for Affirmative Action and our national coalition Stop AAPI Hate, we are witnessing a terrifying escalation of harassment, threats, and violence. We abhor the hate that countless Palestinian, Muslim, Arab, and Jewish Americans are facing in the United States, and we condemn anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.
This moment recalls the post-9/11 era when the United States wrongly suspended civil liberties and scapegoated and spied on Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian communities within our borders. There were many mistakes from that time — from destructive wars that took the lives of innocent millions to unconstitutional torture camps — and it is imperative that we avoid repeating the same mistakes today.
For Asian American and Pacific Islander communities, our histories teach us that the causes of hate in the U.S. often transcend national borders: the incarceration of Japanese Americans during the second World War, the Chinese Exclusion Act and Asiatic Barred Zone Act that separated generations of families, the colonization and dispossession in the Pacific Islands, the refugee experience of Southeast Asians fleeing war and genocide, and the recent return of Yellow Peril hysteria fomenting bias against Chinese immigrants.
As an organization and through our coalitions and campaigns, we will be redoubling efforts that combat language, stereotypes, and narratives that dehumanize, and that hold elected officials and other public figures accountable when they employ bigoted rhetoric or propose domestic policies that scapegoat whole communities.
You can also read our statement from Stop AAPI Hate here.